Before I met my wife, I dated a string of women that were, shall we say, rather “high-maintenance” (another word would be “psychotic” but my inner therapist would say to avoid using any judgmental terminology like that). As such, Valentine’s Day would always cause me a significant amount of angst. I always knew I should do something but I was never quite sure what.
I can safely say that I can not recall a single Valentine’s Day that went exactly as planned. In fact, I am pretty sure that the last Valentine’s Day that went “really well” was back in the seventh grade when I got a card from Deanna Miller, who, at the time, was the be-all and end-all of my world and the fact that she even knew that I existed was “awesome”.
What I did not realize until after I was married is that Valentine’s Day is much better (understatement of the year) not with a bunch of roses, but with a bunch of rosés (see what I did there?).
[Of course, this is not an endorsement to have your seventh grader crack a bottle open if their “Deanna Miller” neglects to deliver a card….]
2013 Freixenet Mia Rosé: Retail $10. The label says “Delicate & Fruity” and it is certainly the latter. Tons of berry fruit on both the nose and the palate, this is a fun wine. Delicate? I am not as sure about that one. There is a hint of sweetness which actually works well with all that fruit. This is not a wine that is going to cause intense introspection, but then neither is the cost. This is a great Valentine’s Day wine for the Grad Student—you do not have a whole lot to spend on either wine or a meal—grab a bottle of this and order a pizza. If she is “the one” she will certainly not mind that you went “budget” and if she is not “the one”, well, you might have a fun night on the cheap. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
N.V. Friexenet Mia Sparkling Wine: Retail $10. A light pink hue with a nose of strawberry Jolly Rancher. On the palate, that Jolly Rancher really comes through, but not quite as sweet as the hard candy. Not quite. This is certainly on the sweet side, and like the non-sparkling Mia, this would pair best with something rather salty, spicy, or even fresh fruit. There is that person in your office that you have been dying to ask out for a while–you know the one–the one who is bubbling with excitement and always seems to be drinking a Cherry Coke Zero? This is the bottle for that first date. Good to Very Good. 85-87 Points.
2012 Garbó Montsant Rosat: Retail $19. 70% Garnacha, 30% Syrah. First off, I love saying “Garnacha”–it might just be one of my favorite wine words to utter. Second, the color here is striking–certainly more “red” than your typical rosé–in fact, it could come close to being mistaken as a light red. Strawberry, raspberry, and even a bit of apple waft gracefully from the stem, with a lively acidity greeting the tongue. More fruit is introduced on the palate, but this is by no means a “fruity” wine–no, this is a serious rosé that demands a spot at the table. This is a rosé for perhaps a more serious encounter with that special someone who “gets” wine. This is not a first-date kind of bottle, but rather one for that third or fourth date—when you are pretty sure that the relationship is getting “serious” (and the thought of that does not freak you out all that much). I scoured the inter-web to try and determine whether this is a saignée or a dedicated rosé (made from grapes that were grown expressly to be made into rosé). In the end, it doesn’t matter as this is Very Good, maybe more. 88-90 Points.
NV Segura Viudas Cava Brut Rosé: Retail $10. 90% Trepat, 10% Garnacha. Part of the Freixenet Group, one of the largest producers of Cava, the sparkling wine of Spain. I wish I had a more open mind when I first started getting into wine—I was a teacher and during the summers I would lead bike trips in France. For me, there was only one “real” sparkling wine and that was Champagne. I pretty much ignored all others, which, given my paltry salary, was not a good economic decision. This wine is perhaps perfect for that dating phenomenon that I never really understood: the blind date. Why on earth people would go out with someone that they have never met let alone seen is beyond my level of comprehension. But if you have a blind date lined up for this weekend, this is an excellent choice for several reasons. First, nothing says “I’m fun” more than a bottle of bubbles. Period. Second, this is only $10, and for ten bucks there might not be a better deal out there. Third, this is really good—if the date turns out to be a failure (like most blind dates), then you have a really nice bottle of wine, which prevents the episode from being a complete disaster. Red berry fruit great acidity and an admirable finish. Really nice and definitely Very Good. 87-89 Points.