Wine pairings for Valentine's Day

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The most romantic day of the year is fast approaching and serves as the perfect opportunity to open a special bottle of wine. Whether you’re an amateur or consider yourself more of a connoisseur, we’ve put together a list of recommendations with wine expert, Graham Nash.

Starters

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There’s something special about scallops, which make them a great start to a Valentine’s meal. Try this warm paprika scallop & chorizo salad – the delicate flavour of scallops paired with smoky chorizo is gorgeous, and goes really well with a light red wine like Primarius Pinot Noir.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, these goat’s cheese, broccoli and red onion tartlets are just the thing. The full-flavoured cheese packs a bit of a punch and to ensure the wine isn’t overwhelmed, pair it with a vibrant and fresh white like finest* Tapiwey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc.

Main meal ideas

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Malbec and steak is a marriage made in heaven, and this sage salt steak with buttery greens is divine with Argentinian Trivento Reserve Malbec, which has all the full, fruity flavours of plum, raspberry and a smooth vanilla finish. If you fancy something a bit more luxurious, try this duck with parmentier potatoes recipe with Piccini Supertuscan. This full-bodied, velvety red wine has subtle hints of cherry, making it a perfect partner for duck.

finest* Chablis Grande Cuvée with its crisp green apple fruit flavours and freshness is fantastic served chilled alongside this roasted cod with cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella recipe. Alternatively, if you want to serve up another variety of fish, try this rustic, simple tray-baked salmon with tomatoes with Simply Muscadet. It’s crisp and bright, with green apple and citrus notes. It’s also a great-value white wine from the Loire region in France – perfect to go with a delicately flavoured fish dish, like this.

A gorgeous, hearty vegetarian dish, such as baked kale risotto with pumpkin seeds, is great with finest* Gavi. This  crisp, fresh white wine is produced in Gavi, a region in Piedmont, northern Italy.  It’s made from the Cortese grape, which gives the wine its distinctive lemony, tangy nectarine flavours.  Its refreshing flavours cut through the creamy risotto without overwhelming the more delicate flavours from the kale.

Desserts

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Lemon is often used in puddings to lift the palate and end a meal with a bit of freshness. It can be quite a tricky flavour because it tends to knock the lemony flavour out of any accompanying wine. In this lemon cheesecake with raspberries, it’s not too pronounced, so try it with a bottle of the great value Asti Spumante. Or another light, creamy favourite is the Italian vanilla panna cotta with raspberries and fruit sauce with finest* Dessert Semillon.

The bottle might be small but the flavours are huge: apricot, honey and peach all wrapped in luscious sweetness. The perfect pudding wine.

If you prefer your desserts to be darker and richer, then try these red velvet brownies with a finest* Late Bottle Vintage Port. This type of drink is often associated with a cheese board but is fantastic with dessert too. Rich, fruity port with black fruit flavours is a great way to finish your Valentine’s meal. Or tuck into a slice of this dark chocolate and pomegranate tart recipe with De Bortoli Show Liqueur Muscat. With its rich and concentrated flavours of raisins, coffee and caramel, this multi-award winning dessert wine from the Australian vineyard De Bortoli, is smooth and delicious. 

The other sweet stuff…

If you’re planning to put your baking skills to make a few edible gifts for your loved ones, why not add a bottle of something nice to go with it. Here are a few ideas for inspiration:-

wine pairing blog gifts 

1. Pair this pretty elderflower and poppy seed hidden-heart loaf with the superb finest* Premier Cru Champagne. This is a sophisticated Champagne with classic toasty aromas and fresh, crisp citrus and apple flavours. Serve it well chilled.  

2. Chocolate orange truffles are well matched with finest* 10 Year Old Tawny Port. This is a full bodied and luscious port, with flavours of nut and chocolate followed by dark fruit and vanilla characters. With its long, lingering finish it’ll have you going back for more and more of these tasty truffles. 

3. Wrap these pretty heart sandwich cookies in jam jars and some nice ribbon along with a bottle of Barefoot Bubble Pink Moscato. Its aromas of orange blossom, together with cherry and raspberry fruit flavours makes this medium-sweet sparkler a great accompaniment to afternoon treats such as cupcakes, cookies and cream teas.

We'd love to hear what wines you'll be pairing with your Valentine's Day meals. Tweet us @TescoFood and let us know.

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