Like Wine For Chocolate: 10 Valentine's Day Suggestions

Wine + Chocolate = Love.

Except for roses, nothing says Valentine's Day more than our favorite drink with our favorite sweet and savory nibbles. And the roses don't taste as good.

Here are some pairing suggestions:

1. Buy or make some chocolate-coated strawberries and drop them into a flute of champagne — the real stuff. Drink the wine, retrieve the strawberry, and repeat. Making them yourself is an especially romantic (almost) ending to an evening a deux back in the kitchen after returning from dinner.

2. Champagne also goes well if you're having a chocolate soufflé as a dessert — the bubbles help cut the richness.

3. Port is probably the most common pairing with chocolate, and the tannins in it go especially well with a small brick of the absolutely darkest chocolate you can find.

4. More and more chocolatiers are making peppery chocolates, so you want a spicy red to go with it. Try some zinfandel from California or perhaps a petite sirah.

5. For chocolate-covered cherries, pick a big, fruity wine such as a California merlot or a Right Bank Bordeaux from St. Emilion or Pomerol.

6. Cream-filled chocolate truffles go well with the rooty and cola flavors of pinot noir.

7. Want to have chocolate in your Valentine's Day dinner? Many upscale Mexican restaurants will make chicken or lobster dishes with a chocolate mole — absolutely delicious. I would switch here from reds to a hearty white such as a Rhone Valley blend from Chateauneuf-du-Pape or a similar mixture from California.

8. Of course, we don't have to be absolutely rigid about wine. You can have chocolate as a before-dinner drink, such as chocolate-infused vodka on the rocks.

9. Or Kahlua or Tia Maria.

10. And if you can't celebrate together on Valentine's Day, visit a local winery next weekend. Many of them have specially made chocolates with the centers filled with their own red wine which you can then eat with the same wine.

Life is like a box of chocolates. You just have to add the wines.