By Abby Cifarelli
There is nothing more romantic than sitting across from the one you love sharing a bottle of red wine. For Valentine’s Day, I have two bottles of red that you and your significant other will fall head over heels for.
While you may not be able to travel to France just yet, it’s only fitting that our wines of the month take us there, to the Rhone Valley, in fact.
The Rhone River, which runs south for 506 miles, and is the center of this vast region, is rich in micro-climates and among the thousands of vineyards no wine is the same. If you’re drinking from the Rhone, you’ll be enjoying a single-varietal or blends of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre.
The southern Rhone is where most of the region’s red blends are produced and best known for the extraordinary wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Our first wine, however, is from Gigondas, a smaller appellation where Grenache-based blends take center stage. Pick up a bottle of the Montirius Terre des Aînés Gigondas 2018. In the glass, you’ll notice a lovely deep purple color. Swirl and enjoy seductive aromas of violet, blackberries, and licorice. As you take your first sips, you’ll be swept away by a wine that is both delicate and powerful. Serve the Montirius Terre with herb-crusted lamb chops and dark chocolate after dinner.
We travel next north of the Rhone Valley to Burgundy. The region stretches just 186 miles but has wide influence in the world of wine. The only red grape grown in Burgundy is Pinot Noir, a thin-skinned varietal that is planted worldwide. So, what sets Burgundy apart? The answer: terroir. Burgundy is all about how climate, soil, and vineyard characteristics influence the taste of a wine.
A second option for Valentine’s Day festivities is the Chateau De La Maltroye La Boudriotte Chassagne Montrachet 2013. Before you pour a glass, be sure to decant for an hour while you enjoy some light snacks. Once the wine opens and you pour yourself a glass, you’ll notice its deep red color. Give it a swirl and aromas of raspberries and plums rise out of the glass. It is complex, yet smooth and dry on the finish, and pairs well with rich main courses, which winter allows.
<There’s no better way to discover and fall in love with the world of wine than an at-home wine tasting. Visit www.sommnightswithabby.com.