One of the best parts about becoming a blogger has been meeting other bloggers from near and far – from literally round the corner to the other side of the world. Reading their blogs has been interesting in itself, but has also been very helpful in learning how to make my own blog better. Everyone I have met has been polite, pleasant and generous.
For some time now I had been meaning to try collaborating with some of my fellow bloggers – and then I hit on the idea of asking them to contribute a recommendation for a Valentine’s Day wine. A cheesy romantic link to V-Day was optional – it could just be a wine that the writer really liked and so would recommend – and just a couple of lines was requested, though some wrote more.
I was bowled over by the reaction – everyone I asked agreed to join in! Some even gave the background as to why a particular wine was romanic for them.
So sincere thanks to all who contributed!
Champagne Marie-Courtin “Résonance” Brut NV by Paddy Murphy (@VineInspiration) of The Vine Inspiration
When I was asked to pick a Valentine’s Day wine, Frankie assured me it didn’t have to be in any way traditional or cheesy. Still, it’s hard to resist suggesting Champagne for this or indeed any celebratory occasion.
I first tasted Dominique Moreau’s Champagnes a couple of years ago and instantly fell in love (see…I can do cheesy!?). Dominique’s estate is in the Côte des Bar and named after her grandmother ‘Marie Courtin’. The vineyards are farmed biodynamically and most of the Champagnes are bottled in an Extra Brut style.
I say most – in reality I thought all her Champagnes were made in this style until I found her Résonance Brut NV (100% Pinot Noir) lurking on the shelves of The Organic Supermarket in Blackrock. If I’m truly honest, it probably does’t thrill me as much as the Extra Brut NV, but even with that caveat it’s worth tracking down this delicious Champagne.
€45.49 from The Organic Supermarket
Valentine’s Wines by Suzi Redmond of Suzi’s Grape Crush
So chatting with friends I usually get asked for any new recommendations for wine, beer or spirits… with valentines up-coming so did the topic of going for pinks or not…
Pinks are always fun and cute for Valentines but after thinking about it I asked what they wanted from their evening, as in light breezy, more seductive or maybe a slight blend…
For wine, if you want to go bright breezy then a good pink bubbly followed by either a more reasonably priced bottle of bubbles or a lovely rose from the Loire should fit the bill. If a blend of fun and seduction then bubbles (Celtic Whiskey shop has some half bottles on sale for €9.99) followed by an elegant red.
For me nothing says seduction than a northern Italian red especially a Brunello di Montalcino – pure seduction! It does depend on your menu and budget. If cash is a touch tight go for its second wine Rosso di Montalcino which is quite beautiful.
See Suzi’s full post including beers and spirits recommendations here.
Love Noir California Pinot Noir 2012 by Loie (@cheapwinecurius) of Cheap Wine Curious
Perfectly situated in the Valentine’s Day wine section, I found this beauty on the bottom shelf. I’m one to plunder the shelves down under so I bought this wine with cupidity. My expectations for this Pinot were as low as the dust bunnies I am accustomed to shooing away in aisle. However, once home Love Noir had some surprises.
What is that saying? Love thy neighbor? In this case, I bumped into a neighbor fleeing from her inlaws. It was opportune as I was a neighbor in search of a drinking buddy. To tip the scales, the in laws were watching the children. My friend’s walk “to get some fresh air” detoured to my kitchen table and we started to discuss today’s tasting.
Very first thing we noted was the lovely labeling. Gold foil on black matte paper was very classé, and you would never believe it was merely $11 and some change. But haven’t we all been fooled before. There was no coincidence that a wine with “LOVE” in the name was launched during the Valentine’s Day holiday season. I also caught a bit of naughtiness in how they positioned this wine. This is what I read on the back:
“Deep & Rich In Style
Silky & Smooth In Taste
Obsession. Desire. Passion.
This is Love Noir.”
Really? I thought I was reading the book jacket of a subgenre of romance novels. My faith with this vintage was waning. But I poured anyways.
Color was a dark, red purple. The nose was pomegranate, plum, cedar. There was good structure and I could identify 3 distinct layers; fruit first, balanced acids and smooth tannins second and thirdly a lingering woodsy, berry, oak finish. Whether aged in barrel or not, there was distinctly oak in the finish and it was pleasant and complimented the bold fruit nicely.
Hey, “every wine has a darker side.” I think I’ve surrendered to the “LOVE NOIR.” The “richness” of this wine was able to “spark intensity and intrigue.” If I can, I am certain you will “succumb to your urges and experience LOVE NOIR. Love. Changes. Everything.”
I’m not slavish to reading labels, but if you buy this wine, it is the gift with purchase. I rate this wine as a buy again – was quite good for the price and a pleasure to both drink and read aloud even in mixed company!
$11.49 Available at Target (USA)
The full list of 2015 Valentines Wines posts: