Valentine wine 2015

Welcome to love week. Valentine’s (Saturday this year): the day greeting card manufacturers manufactured to bridge lull between the Christmas and graduation-wedding seasons.

You can buy chocolates and flowers to supplement the card. Or you can be responsible and spend your money on something really important: wine.

Bad news for bargain basement blokes: Valentine’s Day is inappropriate time to pop plastic corks from bottom-shelf buys. Go with true Champagne or quality sparkling. Spend more than $20, more likely much more. Surely your partner is worth it at least once a year.

If you want to go all out, drop sparkling items such as diamonds into sparkling flutes. Your love enjoys bubbly before reaching the bauble. If the evening turns south after that, see a relationship counselor.

While quality sparkling is never wrong, think outside the bubbly bottle. Ask a quality wine seller for a never-thought-I-would-do-this wine. It will set you back at least $60, maybe much more.

There are no guarantees. A skilled wine seller will recommend something significant you will enjoy. But, be warned, you clearly will be out of your Yellow Tail-Mark West-14 Hands comfort zone.

Make February 14 memorable because you indulged yourself with an epic bottle of wine that blew both of you away with its awesome complexity, depth, and deliciousness. Or memorable because your lover, desperately trying to please you, blew big bucks on wine you could not believe effete swells claim to enjoy. Either way, don’t you win?

Tasting notes:

  • Viña San Pedro Cabo de Hornos Special Reserve Chile 2007: Dense, dry, delicious; black cherry, plum, raspberry; silk tannin, balanced acidity. $38
  • Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards Hillside Shiraz 2010: Full-bodied, substantial McLaren Vale; plum, black fruit, gentle tannin, food friendly. $59
  • Orin Swift Mercury Head Napa Cabernet Sauvignon 2012: Red fruit, plum, black cherry, spice, cedar; refined nose, elegant balance and acidity. $104
  • R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Red Reserva 2002: Superb depth; cherry liqueur, leather, tea; vivid acidity, fine tannin, silky mouth. $129 [1.5 liter; fabulous bottle/label]

Last round: I just enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime wine. It was magnificent, but I regret, by definition, I can never do it again.