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Sommelier Selects

Christian Okuinghttons recommends wines to impress this Valentine's Day

Article by Nora Heston Tarte

Photography by Atlantis Casino Resort Spa

Originally published in City Lifestyle Reno

Christian O’Kuinghttons, Sommelier d’Hotel and Cellar Master at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, has hand-selected five wines to impress your date this Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re a white wine drinker with a taste for lesser-known varietals or prefer red wine  that pairs with food, there’s a sipper for you on the list. All of the wines are available by the glass at Bistro Napa and Atlantis Steakhouse, or you can track down a bottle for home.

Gran Moraine Brut Rose

This pretty pink sparkler from the Willamette Valley was created from a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. It is balanced, ripe, and floral, with light fruit and flavors of toasted brioche and mascarpone.

2021 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett “Alte Reben”

This off-dry, semi-sweet German wine offers palatable acidity and a touch of sweetness without unbalancing savory dishes.

2016 Tuck Beckstoffer “Melee” Grenache

This California-grown wine is heavy in dark fruits such as elderberry and boysenberry, with undertones of cherry, and a mild aroma of toast. It pairs well with salmon, petit filet, prime rib, and foie gras. Order it in place of a Pinot Noir.

2020 Emeritus Vineyards “Hallberg Ranch” Pinot Noir

Hailing from the Russian River Valley, O’Kuinghttons says this Emeritus wine can be best described as sexy. Pair it with blackened salmon or Chilean sea bass.

2021 Venge Vineyards “Scout’s Honor” Proprietary Red Blend

This red blend is predominantly zinfandel with charbono, petite sirah, and syrah. Made with fruit grown in Napa, it offers a lighter approach to a red blend with aromas of port and chocolate that give way to flavors of ripe, dark fruit.

"[Valentine's Day] is tension in the air... and that tension is somebody trying to impress."