Sensual sparkling rose’s and roses and silky tawny port with decadent chocolates are both wonderful ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Domaine Carneros Brut Rose’Cuvee de la Pompadoursparkling wine is a perfect for start for your evening. It is named for Madame de la Pompadour, King Louis XV’s great paramour, who introduced sparkling wine to the court at Versailles and said, “Champagne is the only wine that a woman can drink and remain beautiful”.
Domaine Carneros has a beauty of its own. It is perched on a hilltop in the Carneros district, which spreads across the southern end of Napa and Sonoma counties. It is owned by Taittinger, and reflects that great Champagne house’s style of blending pinot noir and chardonnay to make a resplendent copper-orange-hued wine. Its fine bubbles push tasty strawberry and almond flavors across the palate.
The nonvintage Domaine Carneros Brut Rose’ Cuvee de la Pompadour retails for approximately $39.
Charles Heidsieck Rose’Reserve Champagne always makes one look beautiful. This nonvintage Champagne, one of my favorites, has an eye-catching coral shade, medium-body and delicious red fruit flavors. It retails for approximately $70.
Both rose’s will partner with sautéed or roasted veal and pork, nearly every fish presentation and many Asian dishes.
Most appropriate for Valentine’s Day is a wine from Saint Amour. A small village in the Beaujolais region, Saint Amour is entitled to use its name on the label as it is one the ten villages classified a Cru Beaujolais.
Domaine des Billards’ parchment order book records the 1774 sale of 10 barrels of its Saint Amour wine to Marquis Turgot, Louis XVI’s Finance Minister. The wine is still made using traditional methods. The 2009 Domaine des Billards comes from organic vineyards where perfectly ripe grapes made a plum-colored wine with a wonderful herbal, cranberry and white pepper aroma. Deliciously tart cranberry and pomegranate flavors make this a perfect wine with roasted pork and poultry, or grilled bass and salmon.
The 2009 Domaine des Billards retails for approximately $20.
Chocolates and tawny port is a match made by the culinary gods. Portuguese wine regulations require tawny port to be bottled and sold in 10-year increments, beginning in the 10th year and culminating at 40-years. My preference is for 20-year tawny port with its mellowed fruit flavors.
Two favorite 20-year old tawny ports are Taylor Fladgate and Sandeman. Try a glass of Taylor Fladgate’s intense fruit flavors with dark chocolates containing hazelnuts, orange flavor, or raspberry caramel. It’s heavenly.
The 20-year old Taylor Fladgate tawny port retails for approximately $50.
The honey, dried fruit and nutty flavors of a 20-year old Sandeman tawny port is seductive when served with coffee-flavored buttercreams, milk chocolate pralines and candied orange peel dipped in bitter sweet chocolate. Each taste will bring a chorus of OMGs.
The 20-year old Sandeman tawny port retails for approximately $50.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
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