Valentine’s Day is upon us and there’s nothing more romantic than a night at home with a bottle of wine. Why not set up a tasting session for your loved one? Here are some suggestions on how to build a flight of wine
Red or white, sweet or sparkling – it can be hard to choose the perfect wine. So don’t – why not build a flight for your date and try a selection?
A good number of wines for a tasting session is five, and you could link them to courses of a meal. Keep the glasses small, about 100ml should do the trick and make sure you eat before trying the next wine to help clear your palate. Keep a carafe of chilled water on hand as well.
Open with a light white wine at the drier end of the spectrum – as it’s a special occasion why not make it a sparkling, like Moét Imperial Ice. You can serve this champagne in a cabernet glass with ice to chill. Aromatic and fruity with a fresh finish, it’s perfect with seafood canapés like scallops and salmon sashimi.
Your second wine should build on the fruit experience of the first, so why not try a Jules Taylor Rosé. A merlot-based wine from Gisborne, expect aromas of berries and cream layered over watermelon with a lingering fruit finish. Serve with a fresh avocado, tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and garnished with basil.
Your third wine should be smoky or oaked with a full mouthfeel. The Kings Series Bastard Chardonnay by Marisco is an award-winning, complex wine that hits you with ripe, exotic fruits followed by undertones of roasted hazelnuts and buttery brioche. It pairs really well with pork, chicken and turkey, and has been judged by experts as one of the best wines to drink with Asian food, like coconut duck curry.
Red wines are often more readily associated with red meat than pudding, but don’t be fooled. The Chocolate Box Barossa Shiraz is a great way to finish a meal. Expect a bouquet of rich berry fruits with hints of chocolate, vanilla and spice and an oaky finish. While it’s great with roast beef or filet mignon, it also complements dark chocolate or caramel flavours perfectly. Serve with a salted caramel cheesecake, or rich dark chocolate brownie with poached berries. It’s also great with a cheeseboard – roquefort, stilton and camembert with oat cakes would be a good match.
A sticky end
Some petit fours with a rich sticky dessert wine punctuates a lingering dinner perfectly. Try A Sticky End from The Kings range, a perfectly crafted noble sauvignon blanc. Or for something a bit lighter, The Doctors Riesling is a great low-alcohol wine at the sweeter end of the spectrum.