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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bargain Wine of the Week: Valentine Values

So, you're entertaining your sweetie on Valentine's Day. What appropriate wine to serve? Something tasty, low-cost, and with a hint of romance. Here are three that we suggest.

A white wine to go with seafood, or with a pre-dinner salad, or with dessert, or just for sipping and kissing? How about a nice wine for your cupcake?

The Cupcake Vineyards 2010 Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region of New Zealand is a winner, because it is a wine of conviction. That is, it celebrates the uniqueness of its region and the taste it imparts to sauvignon blanc grapes.

We found this wine at Costco for $7.89. It has strong hints of Meyer lemons and Key limes, but it is not sweet. It's perfect for shrimp or pasta with cream sauce and yet will hang in there with your not-too-sweet dessert. (BTW, it's won a bunch of awards. Not bad for less than $8 for your little cupcake.)

Now Valentine's Day is associated with red: red hearts, red pajamas, red sweets. Here's a solid, all-purpose red wine: Ménage a Trois 2009 California Red Wine. Now maybe a name like this will scare the faint of heart, but this wine will win over your partner or partners, no matter how many you have.

As the label says, "surrender to the seduction of dark, rich berry with a hint of pepper, a lush, lingering finish leaving you wishing for more..." Does that not make you think of love?

This wine was also only $7.89 at Costco. A real bargain for the hearty side of Valentine's Day. "Three saucy grapes make up the blend," the winery says. "Zinfandel adds a juicy character. Merlot mellows and Cabernet adds backbone. Forward, spicy and soft, this delicious dalliance makes the perfect trio."

Our third wine is from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, California. It's also a spicy red with a hint of romance: Sin Zin Zinfandel. You might have trouble finding it for less than $10, but you shouldn't have trouble finding it for about $12. It's got spice and pepper and will stand up to any food or any rough treatment you might suggest.

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