Impress Your Date this February with the Perfect Valentine’s Day Meal
Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter – these holidays bring loved ones together for feast and communion. Whether a holiday has its roots in religious beliefs or Hallmark tradition, these days of celebration almost always involve a shared meal. Valentine’s Day is no exception to the rule; in fact, Valentine’s Day is the second busiest day of the year for dining out!
Whether you decide to dine in one of Portland’s many restaurants, or you opt to prepare a meal at home, it’s important to brush up on a few wine tips to make your perfect romantic meal a reality. Read on for details!
1. Popping the Cork
If you’ve taken notes at some of your best restaurant experiences, then you’ve probably noted that it’s important to get your meal off to a good start by seamlessly opening your bottle of wine.
To open your bottle of choice with ease, use a waiter’s corkscrew to neatly cut the foil that runs around the rim of the wine bottle. Once your cut is complete, remove the foil to expose the cork.
Angle is key in the next step, so be sure to insert the tool slightly off-center as you penetrate the cork to ensure the full corkscrew will spiral down into the center of the cork. These steps will help you pry the cork out, and get your romantic meal off to a smooth start.
2. Master Your Wine Pour
Now that your bottle of wine is ready for pouring, turn up the romance and impress your partner with an impeccable pour.
Pour steadily, aiming for the center of the glass, and try not to hit the actual wine glass as you pour the wine. As you finish your pour, twist the bottle slightly upwards to thwart any liquid from dripping.
If you can manage these two pouring tricks, it’s a great sign your meal will go off without a hitch!
3. Be Smart About Your Pairings
If you’re making your meal, you already put a great deal of thought into your ingredients. To craft the perfect romantic meal, it’s important to be equally attentive to your drink and food menus.
If your Valentine’s Feast is dessert-centric, consider serving something like a Syrah. Syrah wines (also referred to as shiraz), are full-bodied wines with rich fruit flavors. With their generally light tannins, Syrah pairs well with ganache or chocolate sweets.
Meal-centric meals, with pork dishes or steak dishes, pair well with other reds (think Pinot Noir or a Chateauneuf du Pape); whereas, lighter meals featuring fish pair best with whites (go for a chardonnay or a sauvignon blanc).
As always and especially if you’re in Portland, don’t hesitate to call or stop by the shop. We’ll make you a great recommendation no matter what you’re pairing your wine with, and we’ll make sure you stay within your budget, too.
4. Storing Wine for the Special Night
Don’t underestimate the importance of behind-the-scenes work to make sure your romantic Valentine’s Day meal goes smoothly. Ensure your wine choice is ready for the main event by taking the time and care to properly store your wine.
For storage, keep both your reds and whites around 55 degrees. And when the time comes to serve your wine with the meal, it’s imperative that you know when to remove your wine from storage.
For reds, remove the wine bottle from its 55-degree resting place approximately 20 minutes prior to serving so that the wine can warm to a mid-60s temperature. For whites, maintain a chilled temperature throughout the evening’s duration by placing the wine in a ceramic bottle holder, or by keeping the bottle refrigerated when not in use.
5. Make Your Wine Selection Meaningful
A perfect romantic meal is all about the details. Show an extra level of attention by making your wine selection meaningful.
If you and your partner share early dating memories from a trip to the Willamette Valley, select a bottle of wine from this region. If a certain year is of special note, then go for an estate wine bottled in that year. These small details reflect your investment in your relationship – it’s a sure way to make your dinner even more memorable.
6. Commit to the Wine and Buy in Bulk
Members of the Maine Beer & Wine Distributors Association said it best: “If you’ve found the person of your dreams and the wine he/she loves, don’t be afraid to buy in bulk.” When the next relationship milestone rolls around, uncork another bottle of the varietal you shared this Valentine’s Day, and you can revel in the memory of that perfectly romantic meal!