Valentine’s Day is about showing how much you care. What better way is there to do so than preparing a dinner for your special someone? I teamed up with my lovely Designer Thryn Albin and Epicurean Enthusiast to create a Romantic Valentine’s dinner for two with wine pairings.
The evening begins with a delicious cocktail that anyone can make. Every great meal should start out with a a great Apéritif to awaken the palate. I have a passion for classic cocktails and what is more romantic than listening to Frank Sinatra and sipping on a classic cocktail? One of my current favorites is The French 75 so I decided to tweak it and name it a French Kiss.
To create a “French Kiss”
in a champagne flute add
.75 ounces of a London Dry Gin like No. 3 Dry Gin
.75 ounces of fresh squeezed Grapefruit juice
.75 ounce of simple syrup
then fill the rest of the glass with a Sparkling Rosé
Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
You can use any London Dry Gin you like. Plymouth would be a good alternative to No. 3. I juiced a Pink Grapefruit but you could alternatively use a ruby red Grapefruit. Remember that it is not necessary to use the most expensive of sparkling wines but it needs to be enjoyable on it’s own or the cocktail itself won’t be enjoyable. A few options that you can use for the Sparkling Rosé include Chandon Rosé, Santa Julia Brut Rosé or Graham Beck Brut Rosé.
Enjoy your cocktail before the first course is served. This way you can relax in other’s company before dinner. .
After finishing your cocktails, dinner begins with Thryn’s Creamy Vegetable Soup with Cheddar Biscuits. Because of the herbs and the vegetables used in the soup, I paired it with a Sancerre but a dry white Bordeaux would be a nice alternative. White Bordeaux still has the acidity that is needed with some of the herbal notes but is tamed by the oak treatment and then the Sémillon adds some body to the wine that pairs well with a creamy soup.
For your entree, serve a Roasted Cod with Haricot Verts and Almonds. I chose a White Burgundy as the wine pairing because it has the acidity to hold up to a browned Almond Lemon Butter as well as the slight creaminess that holds up to butter. The almonds scream for a wine that has been aged in some oak but the oak treatment shouldn’t be overwhelming. Thryn and I enjoyed the 2007 Auvigue “Solutré” Pouilly-Fuissé. But if you don’t like french wine and want to stay with a domestic wine, I would suggest something like the 2007 Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay.
Finish the meal with a heart shaped Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie paired with Taylor Fladgate 10 Year Tawny Port. When Thryn and I tested our Valentine’s Food and Wine , this pairing stole the show. It was a great way to end the evening. You don’t have to use that particular Port Producer. Other options include Quinta do Noval 10 Year Tawny or Graham’s 10 Year Tawny. I chose a 10 Year Tawny Port because it is young enough to be paired with the raspberries but rich enough to match up with the chocolate. Another beauty of opening a Tawny Port is that it will last for months even after it is open. That means there can more evenings with dessert and port in your future.
I suggest taking after the Europeans and have a break in between courses so you can enjoy your date’s company while you digest your food and sip your wine.
I’m sure cupid would approve of our pairings and I hope our recipes not only create a delicious meal but as well, a night of romance for you and your Valentine.
Continue reading all about Thryn’s culinary delights at Z Designs.
Click here to download a pdf of the entire menu with recipes.
Cheers to Valentine’s Day!