Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and whether celebrating with a partner or friends, wine and champagne are always the right move for a buzzy celebration of love.
To get into the spirit of things, we’ve connected with two female powerhouse sommeliers, Paola Embry, CEO, and Wine Director of the iconic Phoenix landmark, Wrigley Mansion, and Mya Brown, Wine Director at the award-winning Botanist restaurant in Vancouver.
Keep reading for Paola and Mya’s favorite bottles to set the mood on the day of love!
Paola’s chosen bottle on the day of love is a Saint-Amour Cru Beaujolais. The village the wine originates from is all about love, with cupids in just about every street corner and hidden hearts along the streets, wine cellar doors, hotels, and shops. The wine itself has powerful notes of bright red fruit, with fruity kirsch-like aromas, spice, and flowers. Paola recommends pairing it with risotto, roasted chicken, or pork chops for a Valentine’s Day feast.
To pair with a hearty steak dinner, try a Bordeaux! Paola recommends a Château Calon Ségur. This is at least 50% Cabernet Sauvignon with a blend of Merlot, and a dash of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. There is a beautiful romantic heart on the label to round out your Valentine’s celebration.
It’s Cupid Day, which means chocolate for dessert! Paola loves a glass of vintage Boal Madeira or Malvazia to pair with dark chocolate, especially chocolate with hazelnuts or any sort of nut combination (pistachio, almonds, etc.). She recommends a Broadbent Madeira Colheita or Henriques & Henriques, 10 Years Old Sercial.
Mya swears that fizz is always a fantastic idea. It’s celebratory and goes with just about everything. She recommends a sparkling Chenin from Vouvray, or a Pet Nat rosé from Italy; something different that speaks to the personality of your partner. For pairing with chocolate, Port or Banyuls offer an unctuous red-fruit pairing.
With a beautiful pink color, rosé is perfect for Valentine’s Day. A few of Paola’s favorites are: A Margarine Brut Rosé, André Clouet Brut Rosé, and 2008 Billecart Salmon, ‘Elizabeth Salmon’ Brut Rosé.
For celebrating Galentine's Day the right way, Mya recommends a few excellent female-owned/made wines, including Marie Courtin's single-vineyard Champagnes, Jordan Kubek's Lightning Rock, based in Summerland, BC, or Andrea Mullineux's outstanding Syrah and Chenin from Swartland, South Africa.
Photography by: Anton Mislawsky, Hanxiao, Eniko Kis, Tristan Gassert, Dennis Vinther