Raise a glass if you survived Super Bowl 51. **ting**
A double clink if you survived Super Bowl 51 and live in Houston! **clank, clank**
Next up, the holiday that people either love to love or love to hate….Valentine’s Day. I always get asked about wine pairings for this romanic day, so I decided to put together a little pairing playbook to help you pick out the right wines.
Now, don’t stop reading if you’re single and Valentine’s Day is the furthest thing from your mind. You don’t have to be in a relationship to take advantage of these recommendations. Whether you’re planning a romantic dinner for your significant other or getting a group of friends together for some Galentine’s Day fun, these wine recommendations are perfect for any special occasion. So, let’s get started!
Start your evening off with some bubbly. Nothing like a champagne or sparkling wine toast to get the festivities started. I chose the Chandon Blanc de Noirs, which is available at H-E-B for only $16.99. Chandon is a very popular sparkling wine producer in California and H-E-B sells it at a very affordable price! I actually had the opportunity to visit their tasting room on my last trip to Napa.
Chandon Blanc de Noirs is a brut (dry) sparkling wine. It is filled with cherry and strawberry aromas and flavors. Although, this bubbly is on the drier spectrum, the flavors build for a nice soft, creamy finish.
Pairings: I paired this sparkling wine with semi-covered chocolate strawberries. I found all the ingredients at H-E-B. The recipe (which a friend and I made up on the spot) is super easy. Just melt the chocolate of your choice and dip or drizzle the chocolate on your strawberries. We also decided to jazz up the strawberries with some sprinkles. First off, the strawberries from H-E-B were sweet to perfection, then couple that with the sprinkles and paired with the dry cherry flavors from the Chandon Blanc de Noirs — waaaiiiittttt for it— OMG! Pure magic in your mouth.
Oh! And don’t forget the roses! You can buy a bouquet of fresh long-stemmed red roses from H-E-B in-store for $9.99. You can gift them or use them as the centerpiece for your table setting.
The Main Event
I chose a white and red wine for the main meal.
First, let’s talk about white wine. I’m all about staying away from the status quo. Impress your love bug or friends with the Duet Chardonnay-Viognier. This white is a blend of Chardonnay (70%) and Viognier (30%). The aromas are a little funky – very earthy, but you’re in for a surprise on the palate. It’s a dry wine, but filled with lots of tropical fruit flavors on the front and ending with a nice, subtle tart finish.
Pairings: This Chardonnay-Viognier blend would pair well with some grilled chicken or a light fish like tilapia, or maybe even a pasta dish with marinara sauce.
If white wine isn’t your thing, try this Pinot Noir from Bread & Butter. If you recall, I recently reviewed their Chardonnay, which was awesome sauce. Well, their Pinot Noir is just as good and only $11.57 at H-E-B. The nose on this red wine is delicate, yet very pretty – lots of floral, chocolate, cherry cola, with a hint of pears and creamy caramel. If you haven’t been hit with cupid’s arrow, you definitely will after drinking this red. This Pinot Noir is light and very smooth on the palate. You get these earthy, mineral undertones followed by flavors of ripe cherries and raspberries. The tannins in this red are almost nonexistent, so you get more of the fruit flavors without the bitter aftertaste. Best served cool.
Pairings: This Pinot Noir would complement heavier dishes like steak, salmon or other fatty fishes, or even a casserole. And don’t forget H-E-B is offering a sweet deal this month. Buy their H-E-B Meal Simple™ Lobster and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese and get two 3″ French Tarts (February 8- 14). Now that’s a great deal! Pair the lobster mac with the meat of your choice and you can get your dessert included for free. Because this Pinot is lighter, it will pair with the heaviness from the cheesy pasta. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I definitely plan to treat me, myself, and I come V-Day!
Be sure to leave room for dessert! I remixed this dessert idea from Pinterest and created the YGOM Wine Trifle! Here are the ingredients:
- Red Velvet Cake
- Whipped Cream
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Raspberries (soaked in the red wine of choice)
- Mint Leaf (for garnish)
I love that this dessert is so easy to make AND I actually used wine glasses from H-E-B. All you have to do is layer the ingredients in a wine glass. First, the red velvet cake, then layer with some cream cheese frosting, followed by the wine soaked raspberries, a little whipped cream, and simply repeat. Make sure to top off with whipped cream and garnish with a mint leaf or shaved pieces of chocolate. I’m not a dessert person at all, but I sure did finish a glass by myself. This dessert is soooo freakin’ good! If you want to impress your boo, then definitely try this recipe!
Pairings: I chose to incorporate wine into the actual dessert. If you make the red velvet cake from scratch, you can infuse it with red wine and also soak your raspberries for about 30-45 minutes in wine as well to absorb the flavors. For this recipe, I used Colby Red Blend. I’m not a big red drinker, but this blend was love at first sip. It’s only $11 at H-E-B – super affordable and quality red wine! Colby red wine is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (55%), Petite Sirah (15%), Merlot (12%), Zinfandel (11%), and Syrah (8%) – smooth, light, and fruit forward…just how I like my reds! On another note, you could finish off the Chandon with the dessert, but it honestly stands on it’s own.
So, there you have it! The YGOM Val(Gal)entine’s Day Pairing Playbook. Hope these wine recommendations get you ready for your special day.
**This post was sponsored by H-E-B. All opinions are my own.