Planning the ultimate Valentine's Day meal tends to send people into a panic. You got the hot date (score!), now what foods should you serve? Oysters, black truffle, chocolate — all are classic choices.
But then there's the even more stress-inducing discussion of which wine to pair with the food once you've planned the menu. Which is why this year, we sought out professional help. Master Sommelier at The Stafford London by Kempinski, Gino Nardella, shares his picks for the best wines to pair with the holiday's iconic foods.
Wine pairing: Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, 1999
Why it works: This Champagne is delicate with a great underlying depth. Marked by flavors of candied citrus fruits and a touch of roasted hazelnut and brioche.
Food: Black Truffle
Wine pairing: Falanghina Feudi di San Gregorio, 2009
Why it works: This pale gold wine is intensely perfumed with peach, banana skin, and mint. It's fresh and bright with great acidity and a mineral backbone.
Food: Filet mignon
Wine pairing: Château Pichon Longueville 'Comtesse de Lalande, 2000
Why it works: A deep ruby-purple wine with a cassis, vanilla, violet and licorice nose. Full-bodied with a tremendous texture.
Wine pairing: Moscato d'Asti di Strevi Contero, 2010
Why it works: This Moscato has an uplifting fragrance of spring flowers. Deliciously sweet and delicate with the aromatic grapy fruit exploding on the palate. (While the 2010 is not yet available online, the 2009 is).
Wine pairing: Maury Mas Amiel, 2007
Why it works: This wine is meaty, dark, and vibrant. It has a rich texture on entry with a burst of fruit, alcohol, and sweetness.