Wine For Your Valentine

What do you do on the most romantic night of the year? You could spend your month’s rent on a ridiculously overpriced restaurant bill, or you could wine and dine your valentine by ordering pizza at home (since you’re a lousy cook).

Here’s a much better idea – you come to a Vine & Vintage event of course!

Our interactive experiences allow you to do something special with the one you love. Not only will you have a great time but they are easily affordable. You won’t be living off of Kraft Dinner for the next month to pay for it.

This week, we partnered with Certified Nutritionist and Food Goddess, Shauna Mann to create two special Valentine’s Day cooking class and wine pairing experiences. Our original event on February 14th sold out so quickly, we added a second night. On both evenings, we were joined by 6 wonderful couples who were enthusiastic, friendly and proved to be great chefs.

We created a menu and wine list that would be romantic and unique for the guests to enjoy with their loved ones. We even accommodated for guests who were gluten free and vegan.

We set up our tables differently for this cooking and wine tasting, to create more intimacy for each couple. Although couples enjoyed their privacy, they mingled and conversed with all the other guests, giving it the feel of a big group event.

A friendly and loving shoutout to our new friends, Diana and Daniel from Experience Taste. The passion they share for food and wine and the story behind the creation of their blog, inspired me to reach out and connect. The talented bloggers joined in on our second night and impressed us with their cooking skills and wine knowledge. Daniel is a chopping master!

The recipes that were prepared for our Valentine’s Day theme were great for every participant, whether they were beginners in the kitchen or more advanced. It was entertaining to watch the couples and see who took the lead at each station. It was obvious who does the cooking at home ;).

We got real personal and cozy as we began to dive into the meal with our food and wine pairings and chatted about the link between wine and romance. I will fill you in on the spicy details in an upcoming blog featuring the power of wine and how it can affect your feelings, behaviours and memories. Stay tuned!

The wines were chosen based on a romance theme, related to love, culture, history and each wine’s ability to pair perfectly with each course.

Course #1: Charcuterie w/ 2017 Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc

Our meal started with a charcuterie board paired with an aromatic and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc is enticingly juicy with aromas of passion fruit and fresh citrus followed by a crisp finish.

This lovely white wine paired well with roasted asparagus, mozzarella cheese and roasted red pepper hummus, created from scratch by our participants. As well, the charcuterie platter included dried figs, a common aphrodisiac, considered sacred by Ancient Greeks who associated them with love and fertility.

Course #2: Roasted Maple Beet & Avocado Salad w/ 2016 Pfaff Riesling Cuvée Jupiter

Course #3: Butternut Squash Soup w/ 2015 Joseph Drouhin Chablis

Course #4: Roasted Beet Rosé Penne w/ 2015 Menage à Trois Midnight Red Blend

For the main course, and my personal favourite, guests prepared a Beet Rose Sauce served on top of brown rice penne pasta. The magenta colour the beets turned the sauce was alluring and once guests got over the fact they were eating bright pink pasta, they devoured every last bite.

Of course, to go along with this mouth-watering dish, had to be a fabulous wine. The Midnight Red Blend was a great choice. This Merlot dominant blend is full-bodied, offers a generous fruit sweetness, aromas and flavours of black cherry, spiced plum and hints of mocha. The velvety and sexy wine highlighted the flavours in the pasta sauce and complimented the roasted beets.

Course #5: Decadent Chocolate Brownie & Dark Chocolate Ganache w/ 2012 Bolla Amarone

To finish off the evening and our indulgent meal, the Bolla Amarone was chosen as a special treat to pair with the dessert. Of course, Valentine’s Day would not be complete without chocolate, so the last dish was a decadent chocolate brownie topped with dark chocolate ganache. This was a match made in heaven. The rich, wild-cherry, spicy fig and round Bolla Amarone, perfectly matched the dark chocolate characters in the dessert. The wine offset the bittersweet flavours of the ganache, releasing an abundance of hidden flavours leaving everyone gratified.

We greatly enjoyed sharing this week of love with all of our superb guests, cooking, eating and tasting different romantic wine. Bringing people together, creating connections and sharing a passion for wine was what this Valentine’s Day meant to me.

To quote Euripides, one of the three ancient Greek tragedians, “where there is no wine, there is no love”. I couldn’t agree with him more.