By the Glass: Wine choices for Valentine’s Day


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Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day … is there a more apropos occasion to share a lovely bottle of wine?

Wine, after all, can really help foster a mood, a tempo and add to the enjoyment of a romantic, memorable night.

Choose well. Here are some suggestions available from specialty wine shops locally:

J. Lassalle Brut Rosé (roughly $72 a bottle): A perfect bubbly for Valentine’s. It was quite a revelation to taste this pink-hued Champagne for the first time! It seemed so fragile, magically ethereal and light on the palate, with the tiniest of bubbles that evoke pure pleasure from beginning to end.

This rosé is one of a kind — mesmerizing, intricate and unforgettably delicious — produced by a small estate run by three generations of women. Their vineyards are centered in the premier cru village of Chigny-les-Roses in northeastern France. Their production is small, so availability is quite limited, but it really is worthwhile to seek out a bottle to share on this special day.

2015 Tyler “La Rinconada” Chardonnay ($65): If chardonnay is a favorite wine category and setting the mood is your intent, here is an insider scoop. While Justin Willett, owner/winemaker at Tyler Winery in Lompoc, Calif., is not a household name in the islands, sommeliers across the country wait in line to acquire his chardonnays and pinot noirs, finagling to get even one bottle. His wines have a purity, precision and uplifting minerality, so seamless from beginning to end they are complete and spellbinding.

2018 Reinhold Haart Riesling Kabinett “Piesporter” ($26): This wonderfully pure, world-class German wine is less than 10% in alcohol, ever so slightly sweet (like a tree-ripened apple or a freshly picked Hawaii-grown pineapple). That sweetness is a superb consideration if you’re having Asian-

inspired foods — or if you are looking for something thirst-quenching before heading out to dinner.

In 2007, Theo Haart was named winemaker of the year by the Gault Millau French restaurant and wine guide, one of the highest accolades in the European wine community. When I last opened a bottle to share, I was impressed again by how breathtakingly pure and riveting this wine is. My wife, Cheryle, and I could easily enjoy such a wine on any occasion, especially Valentine’s Day.

2016 Melville Pinot Noir Santa Rita Hills Estate ($41): Valentine’s Day is a chance for a couple to share a gorgeous pinot noir. There are many really good ones to choose from, but I highly recommend the 2016 Melville. For me, pinot noir should be alluring, enchanting, seductive and lovely — all qualities found in this bottle. It definitely sets a mood!

2017 Domaine La Tour Vieille Banyuls “Rimage” ($27 per 500-milliliter bottle): Here is the perfect wine to end the evening,…



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