So, Valentine’s Day is all about roses and chocolates and sparkling wine, right? Well, that’s a good start, but when it comes time to sit down to a romantic dinner, pour me a sexy red, please.
I want something that’s velvety soft, yet deep and complex. Something that whispers, but says something meaningful. Like about where it’s from. Red wine is my favorite form of armchair travel, transporting my tongue to the rare earth from which the grapes are grown. If it sounds like I’ve been sampling the goods, well, I’m not going to deny it.
Here are five of the seductive reds that are sure to win over your sweetheart:
Andrew Will 2009 Two Blondes
This blend of Cab, Merlot and Cabernet Franc from Chris Camarda’s estate vineyard near Zillah is flat-out gorgeous; its color is an inky red that reminded me of blackberries and spice buoyed by a brightness that makes me want to run right out to my grill and throw on a big, fat ribeye.
van Löben Sels 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
I fell in love with Arbor Crest while living in Spokane; and this new ultra-premium from winemaker Kristina van Löben Sels has me fired up all over again. Its fruit is from Stillwater Creek Vineyard and I can close my eyes and go there on a wave of dark berry and lush plum. I’m not the only one smitten. Robert Parker Jr.’s Wine Advocate gave this beauty 92 points.
L’Ecole 2009 Columbia Valley Merlot
Sure, there are flashier wines out there, but Marty Clubb’s Merlots are always so spot on. Like that spouse you’ve been married to for a long time, but are still excited to see walk in the door every night. Love this Merlot unconditionally.
Long Shadows 2009 Feather
This Cab made by Napa Valley god Randy Dunn using Columbia Valley fruit is the Ryan Gosling of reds: quietly powerful AND beautiful.
Clos de Betz 2009 Bordeaux Blend
This one’s just too easy, right? Because, let’s face it. Bob Betz just doesn’t make anything less than stellar wines. But this one stands out because it’s packed with so much ripe flavor. It sent my palate on a sensory road trip to the blissful land of chocolate and spice and zippy red cherry and berry. That’s amore!