February the 14th might be a propitious day for lovers, but it is less favourable for wine lovers, according to the Biodynamic Calendar this year.

Nevertheless, we can recommend a number of wines from 3D which will dazzle your Partner on Valentine’s Day.

So here’s what we’d recommend to go with a classically romantic three course menu (recommended on the BBC Good Food website):

Starter

Crab and citrus salad with a Chardonnay dressing.

Valentine's Day Starter & Wime

The strongest flavours in this dish are the citrus flavours from the dressing (mostly grapefruit and orange peel) which compliment so well the meatiness of the crab.

If you are pushing the boat out (it is but once a year after all!), then our top-of-the-range ultra- stylish Vintage Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs from Maison Lenique is the ultimate champers. It’s rare (less than 200 cases are made for us), it looks fabulous (the special, ancient sacre bottle can’t fail to impress) and the all-Chardonnay blend is from a small vineyard in one of the best villages in the region – Mesnil-Sur-Oger in the Côte des Blancs.

It has had four years on the less (solid matter) and it is crisp, citrusy and toasty in youth but develops a huge array of flavours over time. For this starter, I’d recommend a younger vintage.

If you prefer a still wine, then our white burgundy Côte de Nuits-Villages blanc from Domaine DÉsertaux-Ferrand will work beautifully with this dish. It has a rich, buttery character, but has a lively seam of minerality too. If Chardonnay is not your thing, then our exclusive Sancerre Cuvée Caillottes from Domaine du Carroir Perrin will provide a delectable match.  With a couple of years bottle age, the plumper peach, apricot and pink grapefruit flavours will really sing with the meaty crab.

Main Course

Braised Ox cheek Wellington with a peppercorn gravy

Valentine's Day Main & Starter

This lovely puff pastry dish is full of flavour and will send your other half into ecstasy (assuming they are not vegetarian of course). It’s a rich dish with the peppercorn sauce really showing through as the dominant flavour, together with the sweetness of the pastry and the tender texture of the meat. Unsurprisingly, it needs a powerful wine, so look to the Rhône Valley and you can’t go far wrong!

You might like to try our award-winning Châteauneuf-du-Pape from La Fagotiére. It’s an organic blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre and has sweet almost jammy red and black fruits tinged with herbs, spice, pepper and liquorice and a firm tannic grip.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a famous and prestigious wine, so what better way to impress on Valentine’s Day.

Claret will also match this beautifully. Our St-Émilion Grand Cru Clos Villemaurine from Château Cardinal Villemaurine is a lightly oaked blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc and has deep savoury blackberry and plum flavours and a seam of minerality that will match the bold flavours wonderfully.

From the left bank in Bordeaux, you might like to try our equally prestigious Margaux from Château Mongravey. This award-winning Cru Bourgeois is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is a perennial favourite amongst 3D Partners. The smooth, juicy textures, creamy cassis and blackcurrant fruit and spicy oak will work wonders with this main course.

Dessert

Chocolate, orange and Grand Marnier truffle cake

Valentine's Day Desert & Wine

Well it’s Valentines, so it has to be chocolate! However, chocolate is a tricky one to match with wine. High quality, dark, bitter chocolate can be matched to Port and fortified wines, but traditional sweet wines like Sauternes or Coteaux du Layon will not work.

I vividly remember Christine and Eric Saurel of Montirius urging us, on our annual truffle hunt in the Rhône Valley last February, to try their recommendation of aged Gigondas with rich chocolate torte. I was initially a little sceptical, but actually it worked brilliantly. We were lunching at the fabulous Château de Rochegude in the Drome valley where the food is divine.

Our Montirius Gigondas is a pure, unoaked blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre and has layers of deep damson and plum fruit. The vintage was a 2004 and was complex, smooth and well-rounded with a spicy, liquorice tang. The match was incredible and illustrated to us all just how surprising some of these unlikely combinations can be!

 

 

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