Canadian Wines for Valentine’s

The international day of love can be hectic and stressful. Whether you’re celebrating a long lasting relationship, seeking to rekindle with your partner or impress a new prospect, having the right setting is essential.

If you’re a last minute kind of person, don’t even think of trying to make a reservation at your favourite restaurant. Seats have probably been booked for days and why would you want to put yourself in that situation anyway? The restaurant is likely to be frantic and filled with servers stressed to flip the tables on time for the next reservations.

A romantic dinner at home is much more comfortable and personal. The secret ingredients to success are easy: cook a meal you know you’ll be able to impress with, pick the appropriate music and serve a delicious bottle of wine. Simple, no?

I know that picking the right bottle of wine can be intimidating. Starting with bubbles is a must! Bella crafts a delicious and affordable sparkling wine made from Chardonnay coming from Oliver in the Okanagan Valley. Light on its feet, it has a nice creamy texture and delicate mineral chalky notes on the finish. The perfect kick off for a great evening, especially when served with a dozen oysters!

If you are opting for a seafood feast, there is no better match than a fresh steamed crab, hot butter and Chardonnay. While Tantalus is mostly known for their Riesling, I’ve been particularly impressed with their last couple of vintages of Chardonnay. Try the 2012; you won’t be disappointed. Rich yet balanced by a vibrant acidity, it exudes a beautiful combination of butter, hazelnut, lemon and mushroom notes.

When red is your pick, Syrah is without a doubt one of the most sensual grape varieties. This is especially true when it’s found in a slightly cooler climate. The 2011 Le Vieux Pin is a fantastic example of what the grape is capable of achieving in the Okanagan Valley. Elegant and fresh with pretty aromas of violets, white pepper and red plums, it seduces. For an exotic match serve with rack of venison, magret de canard or leg of lamb.

Can’t decide whether you want red or white? Go with pink! No, it’s not cheesy. The color fits the theme and it provides a versatile match with food. Dry with juicy notes of cranberries and pink grapefruit, the 2012 Haywire Pinot Noir Rosé can be served with salmon, tuna, ceviche or even with roasted chicken. If you don’t have time to cook keep it simple and order in some sushi. The ladies will be charmed and gentlemen remember: real men drink pink! Joyeuse Saint-Valentin!!


Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She co-owns the Vancouver-based company ‘house wine’ and is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.

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