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Wine, etc.: Valentine's Day is Almost Here, Grab One of These Great Wines

Capital Gazette
February 7, 2017
By Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr

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If you intend to satisfy your Valentine's Day commitment with a simple greeting card, get in line with 2.6 billion others who intend to the same this year. Or, you can get inline with fewer people who will buy 176,000 gallons of wine through the holiday week.

That's a lot of wine.

Valentine's Day is a call to arms, mostly for men who despite the gender revolution are still expected to spoil their loved ones with flowers, chocolates, dinner, wine — or, swallow hard here, all of the above. It makes you wonder if this Saint Valentine isn't the father of commercialism. After all, the Roman Catholic of saints lists about a dozen "Valentines," so who made this Feb. 14 guy pope?

There's no real attachment between Saint Valentine and this business of buying sweets and dinner for someone who spends the day anticipating some commercial expression of love. The only point is you need to spend money or be barking in the dog house for days.

With that cynicism behind us, let's just buy a bottle of wine and make a great dinner at home. Even if it's steak or lobster, you're still out only $50-$60 and still leave a good impression.

Since red has been arbitrarily assigned the official color of the holiday, there should be red in your glass. From there the choices are endless.

We love rosé champagne because bubbles make the occasion seem special and luxurious. We don't know a woman who doesn't feel special sipping champagne.

We also like still rosé for much the same reason. Like champagne, people seem to relegate rosé to the summer even though it's a versatile, year-round wine. If lobster is on your plate, rosé is a terrific match. It also goes well with simple pasta dishes, fish, vegetarian fare, chicken and hearty tomato soups or salads.

If steak is your entrée, think red wine, such as cabernet sauvignon or merlot.

Here are some recommendations:

Inman Family Wines "Endless Crush" Rosé ($35). We fell in love with tantalizing rosé while visiting Kathleen Inman in her Sonoma County tasting room several years ago. It remains one of our favorite. Using pinot noir grapes from her prized Olivet Grange Vineyard, the wine has incredible aromas of passion fruit and watermelon, followed by exquisite strawberry and citrus flavors.