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The Weekly Dozen - She Pours, He Pours, They Pour

When I get pitched ideas for Valentine’s Day entertainment stories by wineries and importers, the messages hew closely to traditional norms – some “he” woos “she” with wines that are thought to be typically feminine – bubbles, pink colors and a touch of sweetness. But life and romance today don’t fit cozily within those narrow brackets and never really did. What appeals to gender is never monochromatic, and no one sex is always the pursuer or the pursued.

So regardless of who wants to cozy up to whomever, we’ve got some nice, varied Valentine’s suggestions. Yes, some have bubbles, some have fruitiness, but we also have some big reds, as well – all of them saying, “I Love You” or “I Really WANT to Love You.”

Choose your scenario, and choose your wine.

NV Segura Viudas Cava Brut Reserva ($9). Very nice and complex for an everyday sparkling – fine bubbles, some minerality, yeast notes, toasty.

NV Freixenet Italian Sparkling Rosé ($20). Crisp and refreshing with light cherry flavors.

NV La Marca “Luminore” Conegliano Valdobiaddene Prosecco Superiore ($30). Soft, fragrant and fruity like cotton candy and a mellow finish.

2017 Belden Barns Sonoma Mountain Blanc de Noirs ($38). Very nice - a little more floral than most Pinot sparklers, tightly wound, with metallic minerality and candied fruit notes in the finish.

NV Alfred Gratien Champagne Brut ($61). This is one of those party Champagnes that pairs well with many appetizers – very crisp apple flavors with lots of metallic minerality.

2017 Enrico Serafino “Picotener” Langhe Nebbiolo ($25). Fresh and fruity with good balancing acidity and some tannins.

2016 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($43). Very ripe and fruity, lightly sweet, good balance and flavorful tannins.

2017 The Prisoner “The Prisoner” Napa Valley Red Wine ($49). Lovely fruit, rich, creamy and dark – cherries + hint of chocolate – well-balanced with good tannins.

2013 Achaval Ferrer “Bella Vista” Mendoza Malbec ($116). This red will be delicious for those who love lots of fruitiness, but it may be too dense and a little too sweet for others. Good structure with some pleasing barrel notes.

2017 Inniskillin Niagara Peninsula Vidal Icewine ($105/375 ml). The high prices of these three Canadian icewines (proper spelling for the appellation) is for both quality and rarity – the wine comes from shriveled grapes left hanging on the vines and picked at well-below freezing temps on January mornings, each berry yielding just a few drops of juice. All three varietals have a similar luscious texture on the palate, intense fruitiness and piercing acidity for balance. The Vidal’s flavor is of tropical, denser fruits like mangoes.

2017 Inniskillin Niagara Peninsula Cabernet Franc Icewine ($148/375 ml). The flavor here is more of red fruits (the wine is red, as well) with some savory, vegetal notes and a finishing tangy richness of crème fraîche.

2017 Inniskillin Niagara Peninsula Riesling Icewine ($193/375 ml). Pure fruitiness that is more fragrant and crisp – absolutely delicious to sip.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com.

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