-By Katie Curley-Katzman, CBS Boston
Here are our picks for best wine and dessert pairing for Valentine’s Day:
Sweet and Salty
If Philips Candy House’s almond bark or a box of their sea salt caramel selection are part of your Valentine’s Day plans, go for a champagne or Proseco. You can’t go wrong with classics like Veuve Clicquot but try Billecart-Salmon Brut Reserve (around $55) it has strong pear flavors and is so fruity and floral your spirits will automatically be lifted. For something more cost-effective without the headache, go with Nicholas Feuillatte Brut Reserve (around $35).
Chocolate for Dinner
Many local restauranteurs are sprinkling chocolate accents into their Valentine’s Day menus. What’s best with chocolate braised short ribs or white chocolate baba ghanoush? always Syrah. The 2004 Clos du Bois North Coast Syrah ($14) never disappoints. For something local, try Turtle Creek Winery’s Syrah, based in Lincoln (around $17). For Boston restaurants to go to on Valentine’s Day, go to our Valentine’s Day guide.
If you see Valentine’s Day as a reason to skip the main course and opt just for desserts, don’t forget to take that approach to your wine selections as well. Desserts don’t pair well with what you’re paring with your steak. Instead, go with Port or dessert wines that are sweet enough to off-set your desserts. Try W&J Grahams 10-Year Tawny Port (around $30) or the local Hardwick Vineyard and Winery’s Quabbin Native ($14). As if you needed any help with the dessert part – try the Harvard Square cake at L.A. Burdick.
If you’re not sure what to serve and want to impress your date, pull out a bottle of Madeira wine. Currently making a comeback, it’s actually the perfect wine to pair with chocolate and offers something different than Port. It goes best with caramel and fruit notes – Try the Caramel Sushi or the Limon Mayan Truffle at Beacon Hill Chocolates – but whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong. Blandy’s Five Year Old Malmsey (around $20) is a great Madeira pick.
Need to dress up an old bottle of champagne in a hurry? Here’s an old standby champagne cocktail that will always impress.
Place one sugar cube in a chilled champagne flute or brandy snifter, give it three dashes of bitters, fill the glass with a dry champagne or really, any cheap champagne, give it a quick squeeze of lemon and make it festive with a lemon peel inside the glass. If all else fails, adding a cherry, sprig of lavender or a strawberry to the bottom of a champagne glass dresses up the most mundane bubbly.