Wine and Valentine’s Day go together like candy and roses. Celebrate the international day of love by sharing a bottle with someone special. Whether dining out in Irving or enjoying a romantic meal at home, here are some delicious wines to enjoy with all things Valentine’s Day!
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Valentine's Day is, of course, champagne. This bubbly delight is a perfect pairing to enjoy with all things luxe like caviar and oysters, but can also be complementary to foods like fried chicken and french fries. Champagne is defined as coming from the Champagne region of France, but even if you are sipping from Italy, America or Spain, let’s all pop a bottle of sparkling wine and say cheers to all things love! From traditional champagne, you can expect notes of almond, citrus and white cherry. One of my favorite pairings, and the best way to kick off a special meal, is a cheese plate or charcuterie board with champagne. Some cheeses to complement your bubbles are Swiss, colby and brie. Some places in Irving to enjoy all things champagne include fresh oysters from Hudson House, garlic rosemary fries from Pacific Table, and some seriously delicious chicken from Budlong's.
While you might be thinking steaks and cabernet sauvignon (and you are correct in doing so), do not miss out on an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful bottle of merlot with your beef selection this Valentine’s Day. Merlot contains bold flavors with low tannins that make it easy to drink, and it's strong enough to hold up to savory dishes. You will pick up notes of cherry, plum, bay leaf, vanilla and a chocolatey finish. If you are craving a filet with peppercorn sauce or a roasted veal, go for merlot! These tasty meats can be found at Irving favorites like Aspen Creek, Bruno’s Ristorante, and Yard House.
Probably the most popular and well-known wine, cabernet sauvignon will be a star on your table this Valentine’s Day. Highly concentrated with bold flavors and the ability to age into something more beautiful each year, cabernet sauvignon reigns from Bordeaux, France, but it can be found in all regions around the world. In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a Napa cab when searching through a wine list. Black cherry, currants, allspice and cedar will present themselves with each smooth sip. It is recommended to let cabs decant for about an hour, so open up a bottle as soon as you sit at your table or start cooking at home. Cabernet sauvignon loves rich meats, peppery sauces and foods that pack in the flavor. I suggest going for the New Zealand lamb chops from Blaze Brazilian Steakhouse, the ribeye with peppered bourbon butter from The Ranch at Las Colinas, or some bacon-wrapped filet mignon with chimichurri from Villa’s Grill. At Villa's Grill, you can bring your own bottle.
Pasta and wine are already a perfect match but put Cupid’s arrow through them and you have the ultimate Valentine's Day dinner. For most pasta dishes, you are good to go for a pinot noir. Light-bodied with a smooth finish, pinot noir will be a beautiful bottle to share. Pinots can be spicy with notes of clove and pepper but are balanced elegantly with notes of dark fruits like cherry and raspberry. Pinot is light enough of a red wine that it can be enjoyed with pasta with either the red and creamy white sauce. Delicious pasta in Irving that is great for dining in or enjoying at home can be found at Cavalli Pizza, Lamberti’s Ristorante & Wine Bar, Di Rosani's Italian Restaurant, Vinnie’s Pizzeria & Pastaria and Italian Cafe.
Since this is Texas after all, BBQ can be a romantic dinner, especially when made by the skillful pitmasters of Irving! When enjoying BBQ, sauce or no sauce, a bottle of syrah (or shiraz in the US) is a perfect pairing. Rich, bold, and sometimes even a meaty flavor in itself, syrah is ready to stand with smoky and savory meats. High tannins along with notes of blueberry, chocolate, and tobacco, syrah complements all forms of BBQ like ribs, beef and chicken, and will even go great with some of our favorite sides like mac-n-cheese and charred vegetables. For some of the best BBQ in Irving, visit Bouttyme Bbq, Red Hot & Blue, The Ranch at Las Colinas, and Tommy's Barbecue.
We cannot forget about white wine this Valentine's Day. While red will definitely be more popular with classic Valentine’s dishes, wines like chardonnay are ready for their time to shine on your dinner table. Think perfectly seared scallops, sweet and buttery shrimp, that lobster on the menu that is calling your name, and creamy risottos to pair with chardonnay this year. Now that all sounds pretty romantic to me, so white wine lovers, do not fear the pressure of drinking red wine on Valentine’s Day. Chardonnay is a favorite for a reason - medium-bodied and medium acidity, this crowd-pleaser grape will present notes of apple, pineapple, vanilla and butter. Share a bottle of chardonnay over this year’s Valentine’s special from Cork & Pig Tavern's pan-seared pistachio-crusted Pacific halibut with lemon butter sauce and mashed potatoes. Another great option in Irving to enjoy your chardonnay is with Hugo’s Invitados and their pan-seared diver scallops with sautéed huitlacoche, tomato relish and sweet yellow corn coulis.