With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, the romantics among us are planning their special evenings with the ones they love most. This year, nail the art of the romantic gourmet dinner by ensuring you choose the perfect wine to pair it with. After all, no special occasion is complete without an open bottle to accompany it.
Cheese is much like wine in its complexity, diversity and wealth of options to choose from, so perhaps this is why they go so well together – when you choose the right pairing, of course. For hearty cow and goat milk cheeses like Gouda, Cheddar or Pecorino, a robust red is a great choice. However, if you fancy opening a bottle of bubbly, the texture and flavour of our delicate Marchand and Burch Cremant De Bourgogne is a great option, as it not only suits gouda, cheddar and brie, but its crisp freshness can really hold its own against the more savoury, aged options, like wash-rind or blue cheeses.
For those of you who are planning on throwing together a pasta dish for Valentine’s night, we would recommend a Pinot Noir. The cherry and smoked strawberry flavours that characterise our Howard Park Flint Rock Pinot Noir makes it perfect for fresh, tomato based sauces as it balances the acidity of the ingredients well. For creamy sauces, however, our Howard Park Chardonnay – with its palate rich in summer and citrus fruits, yet restrained by a chalky/mineral thread that provides texture and drive – complements this well.
Alternatively, our Howard Park Mount Barker Riesling has bright citrus, nashi pear and green apple skin flavours giving zest, richness and complexity. This wine matches brilliantly with Asian inspired dishes, especially those with an extra hit of chilli.
It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate, would it? If you’re planning on indulging after dinner and would like the perfect bottle to go with it, it will depend on what sweet treat you opt for. If you’re a fan of decadent chocolate cake, then a rich, dark-berry bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is sure to enhance every bite. For the dark chocolate enthusiasts amongst us, reach for Howard Park’s luscious and textured Muscat, as these creations can really hold their own against the density of the cocoa.
And for those people who prefer something light to wind down the evening, modern, dry and delicate rosé from Marchand & Burch pairs brilliantly with a fruit platter. Fine fruit flavours of briary and just ripe berries mix with damp earth to give savoury and mineral notes - the perfect finale to an evening of brilliant food and adoring company.
If you had to choose just one…
It’s every wine-lover’s nightmare, but if you want to commit to just one bottle on Valentine’s Day, we recommend planning your meals around the wine itself. Think about the ingredients you’re using – are they fresh, creamy, light or acidic? – and make sure your dessert matches the overall tone of the evening. It may take some extra thought, but the details can go a long way.