Candles = lit. Chocolates = bought. Barry White and/or Sinatra records = playing. Meal = plated. Lights = appropriately dimmed. It’s cliché, but it’s also a pandemic so who cares, right? Any night that you open a fabulous wine becomes a celebration. But a romantic holiday like Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to open that special bottle. Test out your skills in the kitchen and indulge in a decedent meal with an expertly paired wine. Make date night memorable with these hand-picked selections.
2019 Aslina Chardonnay $17.99
Bring some sophistication to this Valentine’s Day with an Old World Style Chardonnay from Stellenbosch. Made by Ntsiki Biyela, South Africa’s first Black female winemaker, the wine shows concentrated fruit aromas of lemon, apple, pear, and marzipan. Balanced acidity lifts the bold fruit flavors.
NV Bertrand Delespierre Enfant De La Montagne Rose Brut $49.99
Celebrate in style with a classic pink Champagne. Didier Bertrand and Chantal Delespierre are grower-producers in the Montagne de Reims, the center of the Champagne heartland, between the cities of Reims and Épernay with gorgeous swathes of vineyards mounting as high on the hill as grapes will ripen. Enfant De La Montagne Rosé is soft and feminine, loaded with minerality and elegance. This fresh, vibrant, and delicate rosé Champagne shows off concentrated aromas and flavors of peach, cranberry, strawberry, and violets.
NV Jean Laurent Blanc de Blancs $49.99
What better to celebrate a storybook romance than Champagne? Jean Laurent is the third‐generation owner at the estate, but his family has been growing wine in the tiny village of Celles‐sur‐Ource for centuries. With a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture and a devotion to quality, Champagne Jean Laurent has emerged as one of the top grower‐producers in the Côte des Bar. Melon, brioche and honey aromas on the nose, with light floral notes. Fine bubbles, with a long, lingering finish. Great as an aperitif before your Valentine’s Day meal, or to pair with seafood or rich, white meats like veal.
2018 Domaine De Fondreche Ventoux Rouge $12.99
Domaine de Fondrèche sits at the foothills of Mont Ventoux, the famous mountains in the Vaucluse region in the South of France. The vineyard has been farmed sustainably for more than twenty years. Fondrèche has a special terroir with the climatic influence of Mont Ventoux which brings currents of cold air and drastic diurnal swings that force the vines to struggle, and fruit to retain acidity while still fully ripening. This creates balance and complexity.
2017 Aril Kick Ranch Sauvignon Blanc $24.99
Bring some freshness to your table with this Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc. From the Spring Mountain AVA, Aril is delightfully mineral-driven and precise. Made by a small boutique winery, this bright and zippy white will pair expertly with your salad course or seafood. Founded in 2008 by Harmon and Joanne Brown, Aril wines is a family-owned and operated vineyard.
2016 De Lancellotti Vineyard Famiglia Pinot Noir $49.99
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with an American Pinot Noir made in small batches by independent, family-owned winery, De Lancellotti. Famiglia is a reserve blend from the winery’s bio-dynamically farmed estate vineyard. Only the best barrels are selected and blended. Intoxicating aromas of cherry, boysenberry, nutty oak, dark rose petal, chocolate, and basil. Light to mid weight with vibrant flavors of cherry, strawberry and spice.
2015 Conterno Fantino Mosconi Barolo $85.99
Go ahead, live a little. Indulge in this intense ruby red Barolo. Fruity and herbaceous aromas of blackberry, cassis, and bramble. The crisp, long and luxurious finish makes it approachable today.
2019 Iris Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir $14.99
Better than a bouquet of roses, try a stunning Rosé wine from the Willamette Valley. Not just for the summer months, this rosé is characterized by aromas of pink grapefruit, watermelon and rose petal with a fresh and juicy palate. Iris Vineyards produces world-class, award-winning Oregon wine from grapes grown at the estate, Chalice Vineyard. The cool climate in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range allows the grapes to mature slowly while maintaining the proper acid balance that is essential for producing the finest Pinot Noir.
NV Blandy’s 15 Year Old Malmsey Madeira 500ml $41.99
On Valentine’s Day, don’t forget the dessert course. The ideal match is a rich and complex fortified wine from the island of Madeira off the coast of Portugal. Concentrated flavors and aromas of dried orange peel, almond, dark chocolate, charred wood, toffee and vanilla. With just the right amount of sweetness, it finishes smooth and full bodied. Decadent and delicious!
Elyse Genderson is the VP of Schneider’s of Capitol Hill. Visit her at the historic storefront founded in 1949 (at 300 Mass Ave NE) to discover wine’s you’ll love.