Isn’t It Romantic: Your Complete Menu for the Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner
By Jimmy Quaile, Certified Sommelier
When you think Valentine’s Day you immediately think of chocolates, roses and Champagne. That is a good starting point, but when you’re ready for a romantic dinner, you need a voluptuous red wine! Something velvety soft, opulent and complex. Something that transports you to a time and place where you first met. Something that makes you feel that there is no other place you’d rather be than drinking this wine with that person. Here are a few of my seductive selections for your sweetheart.
Refresher: Segura Viu das Rosé Cava $8.98
Refreshing and full of cherry fruit with light acidity to clear your palate.
Starter: Louis Latour Marsannay $17.98
A rare Value in Burgundy. Decant this, your patience will be rewarded.
Sauté 1/2 lb of sliced cremin
Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sage. In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup fontina cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan. Add the mushrooms. Spread on 8 slices of toasted baguette. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Drizzle a balsamic glaze over top.
Appetizer: J Pinot Gris $12.98
Crisp and clean but with more body than Pinot Grigio.
Lobster Ravioli Rosa
Prepare 6 lobster ravioli according to package instructions. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup parmesan to 2 cups of homemade or store-bought marinara. Garnish with 2 large steamed shrimp in a heart-shaped design.
Entrée: Quinta Cabriz Dão $9.98.
Wine Spectator Top 100 Number 46!
Double-cut Lamb Chops
Marinate 1/2 rack of lamb with 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and 1/2 tsp of herbs de Provence in a sealed bag for 1 hour at room temp. Remove lamb and brown in a hot skillet 4 minutes per side. Finish in a 400° oven until lamb temp reaches 130° for med rare. Rest 10 minutes. Cut into 4 double-cut chops (2 bones each).
Dessert: M. Chapoutier Banyuls 19.98
Fortified Granache and dark chocolate – CLASSIC!
In a saucepan, combine 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup cocoa, 3 tbsp butter, and 2 tsp instant espresso dissolved in 2 tsp hot water. Stirring constantly, heat until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool. In a bowl, whip 1 pint heavy cream, 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until thick. Reserve 1/2 cup for garnish. Slowly add chocolate mixture to whipped cream. Spoon into cappuccino cups and chill 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans.
Wine Guy Fact
In the Middle Ages, young men and
women drew names from a bowl to see who would be their Valentine. They would wear this name pinned onto their sleeves for one week for everyone to see. This was the origin of the expression “to wear your heart on your sleeve.”