Love is in the air once again, as Valentine’s Day rapidly approaches this coming weekend. Many stores are filled with displays of chocolate-filled, heart-shaped candy boxes to give to the ones you love. For our weekend tastings this coming Friday and Saturday, February 12 and 13, 2021, we will feature wines to share with your love, gift to one you love, or to pair with chocolates from those heart-shaped candy boxes.
While those heart-shaped candy boxes are meant to represent our physical hearts, in addition to our tasting this Saturday, we will be holding a Gwyneth’s Gift foundation day. If you don’t know about Gwyneth’s Gift, the organization is dedicated to ensuring that those having a cardiac arrest have a greater chance of survival, by training and equipping the community. Their mission is to not only teach members of our community how to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), but to also make sure that there are more automated external defibrillators (AEDs) available. As of August 2020, they have trained 7,690 people in CPR, have placed 58 AEDs, and are responsible for seven lives saved.
For our weekend tastings, our opening wine is the non-vintage Sartori di Verona Love Story Sparkling Soave. Turn the TV on to the Hallmark Channel, or another channel, and watch a love story unfold before your eyes, paired with this bright sparkler made from 100 percent Garganega. This wine has deep aromas and flavors of ripe apples, freshly baked pie crust, and a touch of vanilla. Pair this wine with a white chocolate nut cluster, to complement the apple in this wine. Try it with a white chocolate caramel, for a play on a caramel apple. If sweets aren’t your taste, this wine is an aperitif on its own, tasty with potato chips, or makes a great accompaniment to light fish dishes or cheeses.
The next featured wine we open our heart to is the 2017 Zolo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Estate from Mendoza region of Argentina. This medium bodied red wine has aromas and flavors of violet, red raspberries, mint, and earthy spices. Our suggested chocolate pairing would be a dark chocolate coated raspberry cream. The similar raspberry notes will play off each other nicely. For the savory pairing fans, this wine will pair well with lamb or beef dishes or stews.
Our third wine is the 2018 Scheid Family Wines Very Dark Red Estate Grown from Hames Valley in California. The wine is full-bodied, with 60 percent Petit Verdot, and 40 percent Petite Sirah. Aromas and flavors of very dark fruit, like black currants and black raspberries dominate this wine, with gentle notes of crushed violets. With this wine, and its firm tannins and dense flavors, we lean toward a dark chocolate, with high levels of cacao that don’t have a lot of sweetness. All in the name of experimentation, you might want to try this with a dark chocolate that has dried fruits and nuts in it. If you do, report in! Dinner pairings would include steaks, short ribs, game meats, rich stews, savory Italian dishes, and smoked cheeses.
To wrap up our tasting with a lovely red bow, we pour the 2019 Doña Paula Smoked Red Blend, from the Luján de Cuyo sub-region of Mendoza in Argentina. This complex wine is comprised of 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Malbec, and 10 percent Bonarda. Here, the aromas and flavors are of red fruits, baking spices, and vanilla, wrapped up with a hint of smokiness. Due to the red fruits and spices, this wine may fare well with a dark chocolate-covered cherry. An additional suggestion may be to play off the vanilla in this, and try it with a dark chocolate vanilla caramel. To enjoy this wine with a meal, pair it with a spaghetti Bolognese, steak, pizza, hard cheese, or blue cheese.
We open our hearts and wines to you and Gwyneth’s Gift this weekend. We hope to see you then!