Raise a glass to Cupid and excite your sweetheart's tastebuds on Valentine's Day (and any day!) with a beautiful wine and a cleverly composed cocktail. Check out these picks from Spain via NYC, Oregon, and Italy.
Andanada 141 restaurant in NYC is celebrating Valentine's Day with His & Hers cocktails. El Matador (for him) is a fiery combination of Tequila Sauza Hornitos, Cointreau, homemade tamarind puree, lime juice, and a glass rimmed with spicy paprika and salt. For her, Andanada 141 is serving up La Passionata - a tartly-sweet, slightly frothy pink mixture of Absolut Vodka, St. Germaine, ginger liquor, guava & lime juices, garnished with a sprinkle of beet powder. (I'll forgive the gender stereotyping because both drinks sound delicious! Based on the descriptions I'm leaning towards El Matador but I look forward to giving them both a try.)
The cocktails will be available Feb. 14th-28th and patrons that have tried the drink are invited to visit the Andanada 141 Facebook page and vote for their favorite - the winning drink will become one of the restaurant's signature cocktails. Since opening in November, Andanada 141 has been wowing New Yorkers with Chef Manu Berganza's modern Spanish cuisine. A real rising star, Chef Berganza was twice awarded two Michelin stars in Spain.
Lange Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2010 ($24) was rated 91 points by Wine Spectator and designated a top value. Described as delivering "a creamy cascade of polished plum, currant, and cranberry."
Find the perfect bottle of wine for your beloved with a little help from Wine Spectator. On newsstands now, their 2013 Wine Lovers Guide includes great articles on wines from Oregon and the Finger Lakes, Valentine's Day chocolates, and editors' picks for their favorite wines and restaurants.
Valentine's Day came early for me at this vertical tasting of Nino Negri '5 Stelle' Sfursat di Valtellina DOCG.
If your beloved is a serious wine geek, you will earn major points with a bottle of Nino Negri "5 Stelle" Sfursat di Valtellina DOCG from the Lombardy region of Italy. Like Barolo, it is made from Chiavennasca (Nebbiolo) grapes but Sfursat means strained or forced and, like Amarone, the grapes are dried before pressing. Because the grapes are dried it takes twice as many to make a bottle of Sfursat and the flavors are very complex - dark berries, earth, and licorice. You can find the widely praised 2006 vintage online at Tribeca Wine Merchants for $79.99.