Chocolates, lingerie, roses, and wine seem to be the most highly touted Valentine’s gifts on the market. I can’t help you with the lingerie and roses are pretty self explanatory but wine and chocolates are right up my alley. Here are my recommendations for some playfully sweet wines light on the alcohol yet overflowing with ripe fruit and nectar enjoyed liberally with Noel chocolate truffles:
Folonari Moscato 2010 – From the verdant alpine foothills between Lake Iseo and Lake Garda in Brescia Italy, these grapes are raised on vines using the Guyot system set in white calcareous-marly soils. Grapes are harvested when slightly overripe and soft pressed off the skins with cryomaceration at a steady 18-20 C. When the right alcohol content is reached, the temps. are sharply reduced yielding a high natural sugar residue. I detected hints of white rose and peach on the bouquet. Sweet fruit sugar of peach, pear, ripe melon, and honey on the palate with a solid grape to the back of the mouth. Good for sipping while eating in between bites if adequately chilled since there is little lingering aftertaste. Clean sipping all the way.
Santo Moscato Montedoro 2010 – Big sweet fruity aroma on the bouquet. Tropical fruit and ripe pear on the nose. A clear sweetness that’s far from sappy. Romantic without the melodrama. Perfect with creamy cheeses, and desserts…especially Noel Chocolate Truffles.
Ca Bianca Moscato d’Asti 2010 - Sweet pear effervescence. A clean bouquet with a taste reminiscent of a bracing apple juice. A refreshing drink that’s light on the alcohol (5%) but big on fruit sugar. A sharp yet thin crest of citrus on the palate just before swallowing.
Cavicchioli 1928 Lambrusco Emilia IGT Dolce – A playful bubbly red. As expected, the best pairing with the Noel Chocolate Truffles and other desserts. Sweepingly biting on the uptake briefly revealing character traits of a darker red before fizzing into a light cherry on the palate. A delightfully lighthearted red…perfect for celebrating a fling…or the alacrity of a longstanding romance.
Noel Chocolate Truffles – You didn’t think I’d let these get away without a critique did you? These morsels taste just like a fresh baked chocolate cake smells when it first comes out of the oven. Even though it goes against convention, rather than let them melt on your tongue, I recommend making a couple of crushing bites to break up the truffle and then let it dissolve fully in your mouth. This releases waves of rich chocolate bliss rather than releasing it gradually and not as flavorful.
Photo courtesy of Steve Mirsky. Coverage made possible by Frederick Wildman.