Vin Connections Valentines Day (February 2005)


Valentines… Wines for Lovers (and REALLY good friends…)

St. Valentine’s Day Wines! Special Bottles for Lovers (and REALLY good friends…)

What are folks really drinking together for Valentine’s Day? Are the assumptions about Champagne as the aphrodisiac of choice accurate? For the most part, yes. But there are some surprises. After all, any good wine will do if you’re in love… but if you’re still looking, Champagne has a pretty good track record of speeding the process along. No matter your romantic state, wine is often employed as an instrument of seduction. So whatever you choose to imbibe, have a happy Valentine’s Day… and Bonne Chance!

  • This Month’s Reader Question:
    “What are the most popular wines for Valentine’s Day?” (You might guess this one…)
  • This Month’s Wine Pick: 12 Valentines Wines
    Sparkling Wine from Close to Home
    Pinot Noir IS For Lovers
    Bubbly Bargains
    Cabs from Around The World
  • This Month’s Quote:
    Three On Champagne – Mark Twain, Napoleon and Winston Churchill


“What are the most popular wines for Valentine’s Day?”

Q. “For years, I’ve always just assumed that Champagne is the wine of choice for Valentine’s Day. Is this just an excuse to get me to buy bubbly? What do people really drink?”
— Richard Miller, San Francisco, CA

Valentines Day (in fact, just about any occasion you can name) have long been great reasons for advertisers to sell one product or another. So it may well be an excuse to try get you to buy more bubbly. But really, who needs an excuse to enjoy a great sparkling wine? The fact is, most people (around half) turn to sparkling wine as their first choice on Valentine’s Day. Served with dinner or in the bathtub, it’s simply great fun (the Heidsieck NV and the ’97 “J” from Sonoma County are a couple that spring to mind.)

Though bubbly is clearly the most popular Valentine’s Day drink for wine lovers, Cabernet and Pinot Noir are the next in line. Cabernet Sauvignon, king of Napa Valley’s best-known red wines and the backbone of Bordeaux’s first growths, commands around 15% of the cupid-inspired population. Another 10% choose Pinot Noir over any other. This once elusive varietal has exploded in popularity, and in plantings in the Western U.S., particularly in California, Washington and Oregon.

The remaining (wine) lovers choose several different wines, with about 5% each choosing Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay/White Burgundy and Syrah/Shiraz before all others. The last 5% is as varied as the PocketList itself, and as personal as all wine choices ultimately are.

So if you, or someone close to you, enjoy sparkling wine, now is as good a time as any to grab a bottle. And if it doesn’t appeal to the wine lover in you, then no amount of advertising will ever make it right.

[Do you have a wine-related question you’d like to ask? If so, contact us and you may see it answered in an upcoming issue!]


Valentines Wines for Lovers (and REALLY good friends…)

Sparkling Wine from Close to Home

Pinot Noir IS For Lovers

Bubbly Bargains

Cabs from Around The World

Wine Quote

A historical tribute to Champagne…

“Remember gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!”
– Winston Churchill

“Come quickly! I am tasting stars!” – Dom Perignon [at his first sip of champagne]

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”
– Mark Twain


Understanding our System

Grade: [A-]
Our grades represent a composite score developed using our proprietary system to blend wine quality and scoring information.

Vintage: 1999
This describes both the year of the actual grape harvest as well as the year the wine was made.

Price: $12
The prices quoted in the WPL are the “suggested retail prices” quoted by the wineries and the distributors. Though these are close to what you’d pay at the winery, you’ll often find discounts of 20% and more off these prices at retail.

Individual Evaluations: IE: A, A-, B+
This represents the number of individual reviews and ratings on which the composite grade is based, primarily representing individual reviews in top wine periodicals converted to our scale, and ratings by our tasting panel.

Wine PocketList Exclusive Categories: WPL: BBC, W, S, B
These are four exclusive WPL categories, and many wines rated by the PocketList will fall into one of these special designations.

[W] Widely Available:
These wines typically have bottling of 20,000 cases or more, making them widely available in most regions of the U.S.

[BBC] Top Buy-by-the-Case:
Based on multiple, outstanding reviews and a solid history, these are wines you can purchase by the case to grow your cellar with confidence today, and into the future!

[B] Bargain Wines:
Top-rated wines for $10 or less. Most of these can go head to head with a typical $30 bottle sporting a fancy label . . . and beat it hands down.

[S] Splurge Wines:
For most of us, spending more than $20 on a bottle of wine isn’t something we do lightly. These are wines that, while more expensive, are well worth the price.

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