Valentine Day: Between sips; that heady form of love

By: | Updated: February 14, 2016 8:18 AM

Here’s what wine, whisky or vodka you should gift your loved one to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine day: There is still time to nip out and grab a bottle for a late luncheon surprise.Valentine day: There is still time to nip out and grab a bottle for a late luncheon surprise.

There happens to be this one day when pink is the colour and being ‘in the red’ is not something of a worry. It’s the celebration of love and every other possibly exploitable element that the ‘card-bound’ festival introduces us to. I only recently learned that each day of the week preceding Valentine’s Day has some celebratory connotation attached to it, none of which has any trace of historical relevance whatsoever.

And yet the senseless drama continues. I, too, was inflicted by it when in school. The jitters I felt as I walked up to present my confession of infatuation—purchased from Archies—to a certain girl were much like the ones I have felt when a big result is awaited.

But that was then. Today, I am as blasé as the next adult, citing logic like, “Love needn’t have one day to be celebrated.”

But this is a beverage column and so far I have mentioned nothing of that heady form of love, the one which accompanies all days and all manners of endearment. What wine, whisky or vodka, for that matter, would be most suited for this day, nay week?

There is still time to nip out and grab a bottle for a late luncheon surprise. Clearly, wines must be pink, as is decreed in an unreserved, unwritten document. So dart for the rosé shield and grab either a Zampa Soirée rosé, the Chandon rosé, or the Foss Marai rosé. If you can up the budget, go for rosé Champagne (especially by Drappier). There are other rosé options as well. Just choose any that you like the label of. The hint-fizzy, hint-sweet stuff from Portugal, Mateus, is still a craze and a fresh bottle is a great way to celebrate any mildly sunny afternoon.

If it’s red that your heart desires, perhaps a Pinot Noir may be the safest choice (New Zealand or maybe even France)—ample fruit and complexity with none of those heavy tannins. Sangiovese is another winner here and if it isn’t Chianti or a Brunello that you can access, KRSMA and Fratelli have some lovely Indian

versions as well. And for those desiring a headier flavour of ‘lurve’, there’s always Shiraz and Cabernet, and the shelf is full of versions from all over (aim for Australia and Chile here).

Among the harder stuff, there’s some pink ‘Pinky’ vodka out there and if you love your partner, you will not subject him/her to it—stick to the regular stuff. Whisky-lovers aren’t swayed by the time of year (or company), so offer the ‘Speysider’ his Speyside and the ‘peat-head’ her peat, and all will be well. Other spirits find little relevance unless blended into cocktails and, here again, hold flavour higher than merely colour. Margaritas are a great way to help you say you love someone, or, after a few have been downed, that you love everyone in the entire world for ever and ever.

While I was reading up about the week of romance, I also got to learn that someone has gone and labelled the following week as well. But unlike Valentine’s Day and its week-long build-up, this is more of a wind-down, starting with a ‘slap day’ and culminating in a ‘break-up day’. Clearly, for those days, wine may not be the best accompaniment.

The writer is a sommelier

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