With Valentine’s Day coming up, my thoughts go to what I will be serving for dinner. Even though most people eat out, my husband and I prefer to stay in and avoid the crowds. We’ll have a nice lunch out a day or two before while the kids are in school.
Valentine’s dinner for us will be something simple because I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. It will also be family-friendly so that the kids enjoy it. The way that I will make it special for my husband and myself is with the wine that I choose to pair with each course.
Champagne (or sparkling wine) may seem cliché, but that doesn’t mean that it is not a favorite. In addition to starting the evening (or ending it!) with Champagne, you can serve it with a variety of different light appetizers. I would suggest stuffed mushrooms, baked brie, or even shrimp. Keep it really simple with a selection of a couple of different cheeses and crackers or bread.
If you think you will only make it through one bottle of wine and want entrees that will also pair well with your Champagne, consider sushi, lobster, or other Chinese food. By choosing your menu wisely, you can have one bottle match your entire meal.
I know that we will have a second bottle of wine, so I plan on making something tomato sauce based like lasagna or spaghetti. Chianti would be a good choice as would a Cabernet Sauvignon. You can find these in a wide variety of prices depending on how much you want to spend and how much of it you plan to drink. If you are having steak or other beef as your main course, an Australian Malbec would be perfect. If it were warm enough to fire up the grill, steak and Malbec would be my husband’s dream Valentine’s Day dinner. One of my favorite Malbecs actually came from the Zagat Wine Club.
If you are not a red wine drinker but would like to create a terrific food and wine pairing for your dinner, consider a Chardonnay paired with chicken or fish. Some Chardonnays even pair well with rich creams or butter sauces. Although a little bit sweeter, Rieslings tend to pair well with a diverse menu including both rich and light foods.
For dessert, consider reserving some of your Champagne and pairing it with a non-chocolate dessert such as cake or strawberries. I’m not opposed to pairing chocolate with Champagne, but chocolate does usually pair better with red wine. The best of both worlds would be Banfi’s Rosa Regale, a sparkling red wine with hints of raspberry. Pair it with any type of chocolate for the perfect end to your Valentine’s Day dinner.