When picking up wine for that special dinner for two, steer clear of such un-romantic labels as Catastrophe and Fat Bastard. These splurge-worthy bottles from Vintages are built for amore.
Hecht & Bannier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages 2010, $23.95
This five-grape red hails from Roussillon, a French region on the Mediterranean border of Spain. Open with braised short ribs.
Ponce notes: “If your second date falls on the 14th, this whopping 15-per-center is ideal. Inky and smoky, it’s like eating a slice of wild-blueberry pie by a campfire.”
Tawse Sketches of Niagara Rosé 2011, $15.95
Winner of Wine Access’s Winery of the Year three years running, Niagara’s Tawse makes its rosé from Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Gamay. Pair with baked salmon.
Ponce notes: “For relationships still in the honeymoon stage. Pink and young, it starts off with a captivating bouquet of flowers and red berries. This medium-bodied rosé explodes with juicy fruit then finishes dry and crisp.
R. Pouillon & Fils 1er Cru Brut Rosé Champagne, $44.95
This pink sparkler offers more complexity than many of the pricier competition on the Champagne shelf. Try with medium-rare duck breast.
Ponce notes: “Exhibiting floral aromas and delicate cherry flavours, this fizz is Pinot Noir at its best. New parents should ice a bottle before putting the baby to sleep.”