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Cheers to Love

Toast That Special Someone in Style this Valentine’s Day

Since, for many, Valentine’s Day will be an at-home affair this year, why not splurge on a special bottle of bold red or elegant bubbles to accompany your big night in? Go big or go home? With these selections, it’s more like go big, go home, and indulge your taste buds.

J Cuvée 20 Brut NV

Fizzy and fun, this sumptuous sipper beckons with toasted almond, Braeburn apple, dried cranberry, and ginger snap on the nose. As it begins to tickle the palate, there is at first a bold zest reminiscent of lemon meringue pie; followed by a brief creaminess that fills the mouth; and finally a tart, lively finish. While it pairs nicely with any number of dishes, consider it with Dungeness crab or lobster. $38

 

Roederer Estate L'Ermitage 2013

Named by Wine Enthusiast among the "Top 100 Wines of 2020," this sparkler is 100% estate grown in California's famed, fog-shrouded Anderson Valley. Expect a curiously cool combination of hazelnut, brioche and flint as you bring it to your mouth with this one, followed by bright acidity and a layered texture. Consider this sparkling wine with scallops or oysters. $55

Dry Creek 2017 Meritage Alluvial Gap

In the 1980s, California’s Dry Creek Vineyard released a French Bordeaux style red, calling it “meritage.” The smooth blend was a combination of the words “merit” and “heritage,” and in the 30-something years since its release, Meritage wine has become one of the highest-rated varietals in the United States. Taste what all the fuss is about with this explosion of flavors ranging from black fruits to vanilla to black cherry. Perfect paired with lamb. $65

OneHope California Celebration Brut Sparkling Wine

Each sip of this literal sparkler—the bottle is wrapped in gold glitter making it a shimmering statement piece—feels familiar yet fancy. There are notes of golden apples and fresh pear in every sip, followed by a touch of citrus, making all the flavors pop as the bubbles dance on your lips. It is the perfect way to start a romantic evening, perhaps paired with light hors d'oeuvres. $69

Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations

This Bordeaux-style blend is the Napa Valley icon's—Charles Krug is Napa Valley’s oldest wine estate—most popular reserve wine. A full-bodied beauty that bursts with aromas of black cherry, coffee bean, and blueberry before giving way to ripe berries on the palate and a soft hint of nutty sweetness at the finish, pair with a hearty Wagyu beef or veal to impress even the most discerning of dinner dates. $70

2017 Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark fruit balanced by fresh acidity and lush tannins are the hallmark of this complex, true Napa Valley Cabernet. The depth of flavors provide a rush to all of one’s senses and the smooth finish makes it an intoxicatingly perfect pairing with filet mignon or—for the vegetarians—a big Portobello mushroom course. $76.99

2018 Darioush Signature Pinot Noir

During the cooler months, many shy away from Pinot Noir, assuming it is all light-bodied. Au contraire when talking about this 100% Pinot that boasts the perfect combination of herb, spice, earth, and fruits ranging from tart rhubarb and tangy cranberry to sweet strawberry. The finish is long, and beckons you back for another sip. It can also stand up to big cheese and charcuterie boards with ease. $78

Gary Farrell 2017 Gap’s Crown Pinot Noir

This Wine Enthusiast 94-point rated wine is truly the crowning achievement of the newly created Petaluma Gap AVA in Sonoma County. A true treat for the taste buds, each sip starts with luscious layers of black raspberry, dried cherries, and hints of blackberry jam, eventually giving way to rich hints tobacco leaf, saddle leather, and black truffles. Pair with anything known for having umami, including black truffles themselves. $80

Schramsberg J. Schram 2011

Named in honor of Schramsberg's founder, Jacob Schram, only the top three percent of the award-winning winery’s production earns a place in this bottle annually. Taken through both oak barrel and stainless-steel tank fermentation and aged over seven years in the famed Schramsberg caves, this luscious, elegant sparkler boasts baked pear, pineapple, toffee, honey, and even ginger on the nose and to the taste. Bring on the caviar to pair with this beauty. $130

Hamel Family 2016 Nuns Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon

Heaven in a glass, this full-bodied varietal is tailor-made for those who wish to savor one of the finest expressions of Cabernet in the country right now. Dark fruit is in the spotlight at first here, before giving way to iron, earth, and sage. The sheer power and lasting finish in each sip is seductive on its own, but it can be paired if desired with a duck dish or perhaps an adventurous game such as venison. $160

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