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Romance Her with French Reds PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
February 2018

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $12 or less

IVino_A_1t’s February, which means love is in the air, right? Nothing like another holiday to celebrate the ones we love by buying our way into their hearts with chocolate truffles and long-stemmed roses, which by the way, wither and die (not the best way to express your love for her).

What do you have planned for this holiday of amore? Did you finally decide to take her to a prix-fixe dinner at that fancy restaurant where you will likely pay three times what a dinner might have cost the night before? If you haven’t yet, I bet you’ll be lucky to get a reservation for 4:30 p.m. or 10:00 p.m., because every other Valentine’s night reservation time will be taken.

If you’re smart, you’ll skip the madness that has consumed this greeting card holiday at home and just book a ticket to go wine tasting in France!

Okay, that may be a bit extreme.

Instead, try one of these romantic and economical French red wines with your honey, and take a taste trip into several different wine regions throughout France without leaving your home or ruining your budget for the rest of the year.

Start in the northwestern Loire region with a lovely 2016 Les Amis Pinot Noir. This light red wine from winemaker Nicolas Idiart is the perfect addition to your Valentine’s Day picnic. Strong cherry and a bit of spice on the nose give way to a pleasant and smooth Pinot Noir. With decent body and a predominantly red berry bomb on the palate, you’ll be sure to enjoy this easy drinker with a light meaty meal, like a pork tenderloin.

For something a little heavier, think about including a Bordeaux-blend like the 2014 Château Côtes de Bellevue, which earned 91 points from respected wine critic James Suckling. Though it’s made of the heavier varietals, this is still a relatively light Bordeaux from the Côtes de Bourg region. Let it breathe a bit to experience the full weight of it, and get ready for deep ripe berries and a bit of spice. Low tannins keep this big red in the sipping category, but with this wine, think about adding a nice heavier cheese plate to your Valentine repertoire.

In the middle of the red wine spectrum is something like the 2015 H to H Côtes du Rhône. I do love a good Côtes du Rhône, and H to H, or Homage to Heritage, is a great value. Light on the nose gives way to a medium-bodied red with a stronger structure than anticipated. Not as earthy as your typical French wine, which makes it great for the fruit-forward wine lover. This Rhône delight will be an excellent accompaniment to your romantic night.

If you and your love are looking to spice things up a bit, try the 2016 Luc Pirlet Corbières. A full-bodied red wine out of the Languedoc region, it is an interesting Rhône-style blend with Grenache, Syrah, and Carignan. Heavy on the bold spices and big cherries, and light on the tannins, I’d suggest this for the more adventurous couples out there who are looking for something different for a special starry-eyed night.

Light and airy is how the beginning of your relationship may feel, and so the 2015 Pardon & Fils Beaujolais-Villages may be the perfect match for your date at this stage. With 100 percent Gamay, this typical Beaujolais is jammy with a sweet cherry pop on your nose and tongue. A very light structure means this won’t be the wine to serve with a heavy dinner, but try it as an afternoon delight.

The 2015 Globerati Cabernet Sauvignon offers a little more weight to throw around. With a fuller body than the Beaujolais, and some ripe raspberries and chocolatey-pepper on the nose, you’ll be sure to impress your lover when you pair this one with some hefty cheese. Enjoy this fruitier-than-usual Cabernet with a meaty pasta dish for your main course.

Try your luck with a budget Burgundy by surprising your special someone with the 2016 Jean Bouchard Pinot Noir, and watch her heart melt into this pleasant drinker. With a little more of that traditional earthy-Burgundy taste, this Pinot Noir is the perfect complement to a French wine night.

 

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