Valentine’s Day is approaching and many couples will celebrate the occasion with an elegant dinner out or stay home and share a candlelight dinner over a romantic glass of wine. Then there are people that will scramble to grab a romantic card or pick up a bottle of wine on the way home from work. However, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are some important things to consider about wine before popping the cork, or perhaps even popping the question.
This month, the members of The Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association have compiled a list of the “10 Things You Should Know about Wine for Valentine’s Day.” The list includes tips ranging from the best type of wine to pair with chocolate to the best way to remove a wine stain.
Popping the cork
Just like in a relationship, getting off to a good start always helps. To open a bottle of wine, using a waiter’s corkscrew, cut the foil all the way around the rim of the bottle. Remove the foil. Unfold your corkscrew and penetrate the cork slightly off center so the “worm” of the corkscrew will feed into the center of the cork. If you are using a double-clutch type of corkscrew, use the first stop to loosen the cork about halfway then use the longer stop to pry it the rest of the way out.
How to master the pour
If you’re looking to impress your partner, you will want to start with the pouring process. When you pour the wine, try not to clang the top of the glass with the neck of the bottle. When you are finishing your pour, give the bottle a slight twist upward to keep it from dripping.
Spillage is never good
If you’re a little nervous on the big night and you happen to spill some wine, it is important to know how to save yourself, your clothes and maybe the relationship. Typically, you can blot the spill with a paper towel then immerse it in soda water, blot it again and then apply a baking soda paste. There are commercial products like Wineaway that will do the job, too!
Use the right wine glass
Scientific studies have been done and there is a method to the madness. Red wine glasses are generally larger and have a bigger bowl. White wine glasses are narrower and taller. There are some companies that make glassware that is specific to the type of grape that a wine is made from, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux glasses.
Bestwines with chocolate
Syrah-based wines have a richness of plumy, blackberry fruit and a dense, textured mouth-feel that can’t be beat with chocolate. Syrah thrives in myriad wine-growing regions including the Rhone Valley in France, McLaren Vale in Australia, Columbia Valley in Washington, and Santa Barbara in California. It is available at price points from $6 to $26, and frequently tastes far above cost so they really tend to over-deliver. If you want the best of both worlds you can find a new wine called ChocoVine that blends rich Dutch chocolate and fine red wine.
Storing wine for the special night
The basic rule of thumb for wine storage is “cellar temperature” which is generally about 50 degrees. Equally important is the serving temperature. On the whole, American’s consume white wines too cold – resulting in closed, tight, uninteresting, flat-flavored wines – and red wines too warm – yielding “hot,” alcoholic, burned, over-cooked flavors.
Based on a starting point of 50 degrees:
Whites – refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours prior to service. Initial pours will be chilled; optimal flavors of the wine will be displayed as the wine begins to warm by way of ambient room temperature. Place wine in a ceramic bottle holder for dinner. The wine will hold a good temperature of roughly 45 degrees in the chiller and “open” in the glass it will warm to 50 – 55 degrees as you enjoy the wine.
Reds – remove from “cellar” storage (50 degrees) about 20 minutes prior to service allowing the wine to warm. Optimal enjoyment level for reds is between 62 and 66 degrees.
Wine can be considered an aphrodisiac
As with any alcohol, wine has been known to increase a person’s sexual desire and has been used for centuries as a natural aphrodisiac. In particular, red wine is rich in resveratrol, a form of antioxidant which increases estrogen production. In general, wine helps people relax while also stimulating their senses. More specifically, there is an incredibly unique wine produced by Andrew Quady in Madera, California called Quady “Deviation.” It is infused with Rose Geranium and Damiana, an herb from Central America with libido-enhancing properties.
Great relationships mean go ahead and buy in bulk
If you’ve found the person of your dreams and the wine he/she loves, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk.
You can buy local
There are about 20 commercial wineries in Maine and the number is growing. Most Maine wineries are producing good native fruit wines, others are experimenting with locally grown grapes, and some are buying juice from other parts of the country and blending and/or bottling in Maine.
The best wine for pairing with lobster is chardonnay
As with any wine pairing with food, this is a personal preference. Chardonnay is the wine of choice for lobster; since lobster is fairly rich, it helps to pair it with a wine with enough body to match that richness. During the winter, lobster meat is usually sautéed in butter, graced with a splash of sweet muscat and heavy cream and served over linguine. As a result, this dish is best suited to a full-bodied, tropical fruit-flavored chardonnay from California’s Russian River Valley or Monterey County, or one from southern Burgundy.
***Grabbed from: http://www.mainebeerandwine.com/wine-tips-for-valentines-day.php