No one should ever need an excuse to have a glass of wine, but St Valentine’s Day is made all the more special with a carefully selected bottle or three — after all, wine and romance make great bedfellows (ahem). But you don’t have to splurge on an expensive bottle to impress your partner. We’ve done the homework for you and narrowed down a selection of bottles to get your hands on.
Paparazzi Prosecco Superiore Millesimato 2011, $40.50
To pair with aphrodisiacs
Prosecco is an increasingly trendy sparkling wine, especially among drinkers with a nose for decent quality at affordable prices. This wine evokes enticing aromas and flavours of apple, melon, apricot and peach. Its firm structure and tight acidity lends itself well to sashimi and oysters. Oh yes, plenty of aphrodisiacal oysters. Available at Cold Storage.
Domaine du Vissoux Cremant de Bourgogne N.V., $42
To pair with shellfish, strawberries
Flowers and citrus dominate the nose of this alluring sparkling wine from Beaujolais, in the south of Burgundy. Crisp and elegant with delicately textured bubbles, it lovingly caresses the palate and envelopes it in perfect harmony and balance. Have it with shellfish, mild appetisers, or with strawberries (with a side of a bouquet of roses). Available at www.ewineasia.com.
Jurtschitsch Little J Gruner Veltliner 2009, $37
To pair with poultry and fish
In the realm of highly aromatic white wines, Austria is proving itself a force to be reckoned with. This bottle of white is made from one of Austria’s most significant grape variety, Gruner Veltliner — or Gru V as it is more cleverly nicknamed. It offers nuances of citrus, spice and (characteristic) white pepper, making it suitable for most poultry and fish dishes. Also useful for occasions and venues where a little spicing up is welcomed. Available at www.ewineasia.com.
Marc Kreydenweiss Clos du Val d'Eleon 2003, $48
To pair with complex dishes and mature cheeses
Kreydenweiss needs no introduction — this estate in Alsace produces plenty of tantalising wines, among them this charmingly rich and slightly spicy Riesling-Pinot Gris blend. The bottle has seen some age, so expect a more mature and developed nose and palate. It’s a complex wine, best suited for main dishes such as cod, barramundi, roast pork, or even mature cheeses. Available at www.ewineasia.com.
Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rosé 2012, $32.50
To pair with lightly grilled dishes
In our warm, tropical climate, rosé wines truly deserve more attention. Made from the Sangiovese grape, this wine blushes a flattering watermelon pink, teasing the palate with characters of rhubarb, raspberry, strawberry and just a tiny sprinkling of cinnamon. Its crisp flavours and acidity matches well with lightly grilled dishes. Available at AP House Specialty (Gourmet Market) (Address: 12 MArina View, #01-06/07/08, Asis Square Tower 2 | Tel: 68449918 | Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8.30am-9pm, Sat 10.30am-8.30pm).
Cape Mentelle Trinders Cabernet Merlot 2012, $50.90
To pair with char-grilled dishes
Here is a very inviting red that comes to us from one of the finest wine producers Down Under. Balancing the boldness and aggressiveness of Cabernet with the softness and restraint of Merlot, this wine proffers dark cherry fruit and ripe blackcurrant on the palate as it rounds out to a long, titillating finish. Drink it with char-grilled steaks. Available at Cold Storage.
Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Merlot 2012, $30.85
To pair with pizza
Sexy, voluptuous, and smooth — the wine, not you. This noteworthy Merlot from Chile offers up an attractive nose and palate with simple notes of juicy plum, chocolate, as well as red and black fruit. Enjoy it with a bloody cut of beef, or pizza and some TV. Available at Cold Storage.
Domaine Chandon Pinot Noir 2012, $39.65
To have on its own
Good Pinots don’t come cheap, save for a few exceptions such as this Californian bottle. Ripe cherries and small red berries are noticeable on the nose. Its soft, seductive flavours and gentle, easy character arouses the senses, gliding over the palate like silk on skin and leaving it pleading for more. Available at Cold Storage.
De Bortoli Emeri Pink Moscato NV, $34
To pair with strawberries and cream
As much a crowd-pleaser at parties as it is an enjoyable wine over an intimate dinner, this Pink Moscato is particularly appropriate for St Valentine’s. Sweet, fruity, and effervescent, it’s perfect together with a bowl of strawberries and cream. The alcoholic content (8 percent) is also lower than regular still wines, which means you can drink more of it. Isn’t that the goal of the evening? Available at Crystal Wines.
Michele Chiarlo Nivole Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2012, $42
To pair with dessert
If you want a wine that matches the mood, the food, and the bouquet of flowers, or if a full 750ml bottle of wine is too much for the both of you, then this is your answer. Michele Chiarlo’s Moscato comes in a half-bottle format (375ml), and it’s deliciously fresh, exuberant, light, and floral. As it enters your lips, the wine transforms into a vinous cloud (which incidentally is what “nivole” means in the Piedmontese dialect). Enjoy it over dessert, or while soaking in the bath. Rose petals optional. Available Meidi-Ya Supermarket and Isetan (Shaw House).
Looking for food to pair these excellent wines with? We've laid out a menu of our best recipes for a homecooked romantic meal for the one you love
Kenny Leong is a Certified Specialist of Wine and an independent writer whose unquenchable thirst for wine is exceeded only by his love for tea. When not poking his nose into wine glasses and tiny teacups, the self-professed devotee of classical Chinese culture can be found plucking the strings of his guqin (plucked seven-string musical instrument of the zither family) in his Ming dynasty outfit. Right now, he is saving up for a Han dynasty sword, because in the case of a zombie apocalypse, the pen might not necessarily be mightier. He has written for the likes of Cuisine & Wine Asia, Appetite, Singapore Tatler, and Town & Country.