Not all romantic Valentine's Day ideas have to break the bank. This February 14, the real romance is at home. And best of all, it doesn't involve a five-course meal with hours of preparation (less cooking leaves more time for canoodling!). Read on for our top 3 food and wine pairings for a romantic Valentine's Day celebration just for you and your hunny!
1st Course: Oysters & Champagne
To start, nothing says romance more than oysters and champagne.
Get the oysters at your local seafood shop or specialty market (ask the person behind the counter to shuck them for you and bring them home on ice).
Of course, the aphrodisiac quality of oysters is well-known, but if that particular shell fish isn't your thing, simply substitute fresh shrimp or crab cocktail for the same idea.
If you go the oyster route, try a varied selection of east and west coast oysters for a variety of sizes and flavor profiles.
For the champagne, choose something a little higher up on the quality spectrum, such as Pol Roger. It's rich and smooth and made with exacting standards—perfect to show a little Valentine's day love.
Tip: drop a couple of raspberries, blueberries, or pomegranate seeds into the bottom of the glass for some added color.
2nd Course: Wine & Cheese
For your second course, pair wine and cheese.
A light bodied red, such as a Pinot Noir, pairs well with cow's milk cheeses, and some sheep's milk cheese. Avoid blue cheeses, washed rind cheeses, or goat milk cheeses, because the acids in them can ruin the Pinot.
Try Flowers Pinot Noir. It's a little pricey but well worth the splurge.
Tip: Pair a fun white wine, such as an Albarino or the slightly effervescent Vinho Verde from Portugal, with their Spanish counterpart, the delicious Manchego cheese.
3rd Course: Port & Chocolate
Finally, finish off your Valentine's dinner with port wine and dark chocolate for dessert.
The sweetness of the port wine will contrast beautifully with the slight bitterness of the dark chocolate.
Tip: Try a Tawny Port for variety—they're made from red grapes aged in wood barrels, so instead of being a deep red like other ports, they're a more mellow caramel-y color, with some added nuttiness to their flavor.