Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and along with chocolate and flowers, wine will be a popular gift.
But if you want to go beyond the simple throw-it-in-a-gift-bag-and-call-it-a-day approach to gifting wine, On The Coast's Master of Wine Barbara Philip suggests you and your special someone do a tasting.
"Few things are more pleasurable than enjoying good food and wine with those you love," she said. "If you have the opportunity to have a special meal to celebrate Valentine's Day this coming weekend, the wines below offer diversity of style and pairing possibilities."
Without further ado, here are Barbara Philip's picks for this week.
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Pol Roger Cuvée de Réserve Brut Champagne. France. $36.99 (375mL)
"The toast, crisp apple, wet stone and white peach aromas are such a great way to start the evening. With the finessed bubbles and racy acidity on the palate, the Pol Roger would make a great partner for seafood appetizers like oysters on the half shell, tuna sashimi or smoked salmon blinis."
Lake Breeze. Pinot Blanc. Okanagan Valley. 2014. $16.99
"Lake Breeze has always made one of the most consistent and delicious Pinot Blancs in B.C. For me, it really expresses the 'terroir' of the Okanagan with spring flowers, stone fruit and a fresh palate. If you are having a soup course made from root vegetables or squash — I recommend carrot and pear — this will make an exciting match."
Jamsheed Harem "La Syrah". Pyrenees & Yarra Valley. Victoria. Australia. 2013. $23.97
"Time for some roasted meat! Think about sharing a rack of lamb and pairing it with an Australian Shiraz. The Jamsheed is an example of the 'New Australia' and shows depth of black fruits along with floral notes and sweet herbs. Complex and delicious."
Taylor Fladgate Late Bottled Vintage Port. 2008. $14.99 (375mL)
"Chocolate is a classic and, no matter how you are preparing it, a glass of ruby port with make for an excellent marriage. The Taylor Fladgate comes in a half bottle and will keep for a least a week after you open it. Its dense flavours and high alcohol content will complement dark chocolate and finish the meal beautifully."