Planning your Valentine’s Day dinner and on to the task of pairing a wine with it? Choosing the right vino can be almost as stressful as attempting to perfectly cook the meal itself. Here are a few of our top wine pairings with classic dishes, common on the romantic holiday!
- Rare to Medium rare, fatty steaks pair with Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel
- Cheese, cream or butter sauce on pasta pair with a nice oaked Chardonnay
- Tomato-based (and meat) sauces on pasta pair with Chianti or a full bodied read blend
- Boiled, grilled, or steamed pair with unoaked Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
- Seafood Pasta
- Lighter sauces pair with Gruner Veltliner or a Blanc de Blanc
- Tomato-based sauces pair with Pinot Noir
- Chocolate desserts are tricky. Here's a stellar guide we found from Wine Folly for pairing chocolate and wine: https://winefolly.com/tutorial/5-badass-wine-and-chocolate-pairings/
Who can deny a nice cut of steak makes for a special dinner date? If you’re grilling up a nice rare to medium rare, fatty steak, you can usually guarantee a big, bold red like Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel are the perfect pairing. The high tannins of a bold red will cleanse the palate between each bite making them an ideal match.
Pedroncelli, Three Vineyards Cabernet Sauvginon
Il Cuore, Mendocino County Zinfandel The Heart
*If you prefer a more well-done steak, you should avoid a Cabernet Sauvignon, because the removal of fat from the meat will heighten how the tannins in the wine are perceived.
Note that sauces can change the flavor palette completely, so if you’ve got a sauce in mind - start there! For peppercorn sauces, match the peppery notes with a Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz and for a Béarnaise, choose a bold red with more acidity, such as a Bordeaux or Chilean Cabernet.
Italian food always seems to scream romance, and it’s no question pasta is the epicenter of them all. If you’re looking to swoon your special someone with a cheese, cream or butter sauce, a nice oaked Chardonnay will add to the creaminess of the cheese or cream.
Joel Gott, Santa Barbra County Chardonnay
On the flip side, if a tomato based sauce is on the menu, shoot for a Chianti, Zinfandel, or bold red blends to help with the acidity of the tomatoes.
Antiche Terre Venete, Amore Assoluto Red Blend
Some of us aren’t lucky enough to live around fresh seafood all year so we reserve it for special occasions like Valentine’s Day. If you’re whipping up a beautiful boiled, grilled, or steamed seafood dish for Valentine’s Day dinner, pair it with a nice Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay, ensuring to avoid harsh tannic wines that clash with the delicacy of the seafood.
Ilauri, "Nora" Chardonnay
Lapis Luna, Sauvignon Blanc
Combining the seafood and pasta for a magical medley instead? For lighter sauces grab a crisp, refreshing, light bodied, acidic white wine like a Blanc de Blancs or Gruner Veltliner. Alternatively for tomato based sauces, grab a and a lighter red like Pinot Noir.
Chateau Ksara, Blanc de Blancs
If you prefer a red based sauce for your seafood pasta, choose a beautiful light, earthy Pinot Noir to stand up against the tomatoes acidity.
Ramsay, North Coast Pinot Noir
Making something that we didn't list a pairing for? Stop by the store or send us a message or email and we'll help you find your perfect pairing!
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- Tags: All Perfect Pairings, Course - Dinner, Drink - Wine, Main Ingredient - Beef, Main Ingredient - Pasta, Main Ingredient - Seafood