Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Wine and dine on Valentine’s Day

Published:Thursday | February 12, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Red Diamond Merlot
Little Penguine Chardonnay is a good pick for a dish of curried goat or chicken.
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There is no better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than with someone you love, even if that someone is just yourself. The idea is to treat the senses with amazing food and wine to heighten the sense of things. Valentine's Day is about love, passion and demonstrating it.

Dinner might be the right way to kick-start the festivities. The restaurants of Market Place in collaboration with Wray & Nephew and Best Dressed Foods have created a scintillating Valentine's menu and, of course, there must be wine. In thinking about what wine to have, think about what you are pairing it with, whether you decide to go out or set the stage at home for a more intimate ambience.

White Wines

Champagne or other sparklings, like a Cava from Spain or a Prosseco from Italy, are amazing with anything that's salty. The Cinzano Prosecco is a great aromatic and very bubbly option. This could be a great starter if paired with an appetiser. Oysters and Prosecco make a great combination, and serve as a natural aphrodisiac.

Chardonnay, the big boy of white wines, generally stands up to intense creamy buttery sauces or fatty fish. The Tisdale Chardonnay has flavours of pineapples and citrus fruits which complement food like garlic-buttered shrimp, salmon, tuna and lobster, or just about any kind of seafood or light meats like chicken.

Who could forget the always-popular Moscato? I suspect that many ladies will draw to this as an intuitive response, regardless of what is being eaten. Most restaurants will have an option for you to choose. What will be available in Market Place is the Barefoot Moscato, which has such a delicious fruity aroma and most certainly sweet. If you are a purist - going for what pairs well, then your best bet is spicy Indian food or sweets.

Red Wines

Merlots are great all-rounders and one of my go-to varietals when I go out for dinner, simply because it complements most foods really well. I quite enjoy the Barefoot Merlot, which has the perfect mix of flavours - cherry, plum and chocolate. To really appreciate these flavours, your wine must be served at the right temperature. Take a smell and close your eyes so your senses are focused, enjoy the aromas and taste.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine that loves red meat. Whether the meat is well done or medium rare, it truly enhances the flavour. I often prefer a steak with a great cab. Tisdale Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold expression of elegance with a distinctive taste. This will certainly complement your meal or just enjoy it entirely on its own.

If dinner is not your thing, think jazz. My friend Ozzie from the Wine Shop on South Avenue is creating a night of wine and live jazz, which might just be the thing you are looking for. There is a great selection of wines to choose from to set the right mood.

Whether wine and food, or wine and music, have fun, but most important, enjoy the wine.

CHEERS!