Friday, January 31, 2014

Some Valentine Beverage Options for You

Posted By on Fri, Jan 31, 2014 at 7:30 AM

The pressure is on, kids. Valentine's Day is rapidly approaching, and it's time to consider whether you're eating out or in and what you'll serve. I'm kinda thinking about a couple of these Sweetheart Steaks from Porter Road Butcher! --->

But what to pair with such a lovely piece of meat? That's the poser. On Bites' colleague Lesley Lassiter's recommendation, I had the chance to sample the lovely Damilano Barolo Cannubi 2008 last week and was duly impressed. This is a boy-dog wine, big and thick with a deep, dark garnet color and some serious tannins. I took the extra step to decant it for an hour to let it open up, and the wine was still changing considerably in the glass from the first to the last.

Although it was a full-bodied red, the years in barrel did soften the mouth feel enough to serve with either wine or pasta. In fact, it would be a great pairing with those PRB steaks if I hadn't already finished the bottle with some homemade lasagna.

More novel, but less adventurous is the idea of serving a nice light apertif wine with your Valentine's meal. My current favorite apertif is the French classic, Lillet, which blends Bordeaux wines and citrus liqueurs to create what is essentially a pre-made cocktail. Served chilled and up before a meal, or over ice with a wedge of citrus fruit, Lillet is an excellent start to any party, like prosecco without the bubbles.

Specifically for Valentine's, Lillet Rosé would be a fun choice. Pink and playful, this particular version of Lillet is a blend of the varietals that they use in their red and white incarnations, but with a little berry liqueur added to the mix. You can also substitute Lillet for vermouth in a traditional martini recipe to create a Vesper, one of James Bond's favorite cocktails. Because face it, James Bond probably never had a bad Valentine's Day.


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