The Cork Culture Guide to Valentine's Drinking
Valentine's Day is that wonderful time of the year when star-crossed lovers hold hands underneath the lunar glow of that PHILIPS sign overlooking Victoria Harbour, when married folks renew their vows quietly at home with Season 4 of Game of Thrones, and when all our single friends simultaneously begin to contemplate downloading that famous dating app everyone keeps talking about.
Either way, let's be real. Regardless of whether you are with a date, some friends, or by yourself—you are going to be needing some good wine.
Our Valentine's Day Selections:
Arianna Occhipinti - Sicilia Rosso 'SP68' 2013
What for? When you need a friend...
Oh Arianna. What would we do without your wines?
SP68 is one of our staff favourites. We hoard it here in our office fridge and drink it religiously on good days and bad days alike. For Valentine's Day we are sharing the love by providing a great 15% discount on it. We won't do this often for SP68, so stock up! ST90
Collinai Serragrilli - Moscato d'Asti 2013
What for? That first date with the promising Tindr match...
Assuming you'll already be on your third drink of the night after a cocktail at the bar and two glasses of that extortionately priced by-the-glass wine at the restaurant, you'll want something refreshing and simple when you bring your date home (if things go well).
Moscato is lightly sparkling, fruity and sweet, fun at only 5.5% alcohol, and just plain old sexy.
Tenuta delle Terre Nere - Etna Rosso 2012
What for? Date at a restaurant with a reasonable corkage price ($100-$200)
Dining out is going to cost you around $700 for a bottle of wine normally sold for $200. Don't do that. This Etna Rosso has a great back story for your date (it was grown on volcanic soils alongside the active Mt. Etna in Sicily), and it tastes absolutely amazing.
It was on the list of Top 100 Best Wines of 2014 from Wine Spectator Magazine, and is soft, silky, and fragrant like a Pinot Noir from Burgundy, while showing enough pomegranate/cherry/raspberry fruit and minerality to dazzle your palate. Also, ladies love it. RP93, WS90
Dr. Bürklin-Wolf - 'Wachenheimer' Riesling Trocken 2013
What for? Drink together with all your other single friends.
Screw-cap? Check. Delicious? Check. Great value? Check.
This dry Riesling is one that you'll definitely want more than one of, as it usually disappears really, really quickly. It's a tropical, but tart refreshing white wine that can handle anything from hot pot to barbeques to house parties. JR17
René Geoffroy - 'Rosé de Saignée' Brut 1er Cru NV (2010)
What for? All around crowd-pleaser. A safe bet.
Here comes the sparkling rosé. René Geoffroy's is our Valentine's Day regular every year, but we aren't ashamed to recommend it once again. Even if you are going out for the night, you can never go wrong with starting things off with a few glasses of this. It's a voluptuous, rich, and incredibly enjoyable 100% Pinot Noir Champagne. RP93, WS92, AG90, IWC90
Domaine Dublère - Morey St Denis 1er Cru 'Les Blanchards' 2010
What for? A serious wine to impress someone with, without a serious price.
Burgundy is all the rage nowadays and Domaine Dublère is one of the best in the business (although his wines aren't extremely well known). This is something for those who want to experience the paradoxical beauty of Pinot Noir at its best—transparent, yet rich, elegant yet powerful, and floral yet mineral. A beautiful wine from a beautiful vintage. BH93, JR17