Valentine’s Day is coming up, but what if you’re not in a relationship? There’s a special day for you, too. It’s called Galentine’s Day and it happens every year on February 13th. On CTV News, we chat about terrific wines to drink on both days.
Let’s start with what is Galentine’s Day?
– It’s one of those made-up micro-holidays, like Friendsgiving just before Thanksgiving, that’s a reaction against the day that commercializes romance and instead celebrates platonic love/female friendship and the bond that lasts longer: women and wine!
– As one embroidered pillow on Etsy read: Happy consumer-driven and trivial interpretation of love day and casts off the detritus of traditional love like overpriced flowers and silly stuffed animals.
– The comedian Amy Poehler created it in 2010 on the sitcom Parks and Recreation with the thing that has always brought women together: a long, boozy brunch.
– As her character Leslie Knope says: “Every February 13, my ladyfriends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”
So which wines might we crack open if we’re celebrating Galantine’s Day, either within our bubble or online?
– If you’re coming out of a break-up or divorce, there are many aptly named wines for your tasting, like this Niagara blend called Guilty Men or 7 Deadly Zins from California. One more from California that would stay on theme is Ménage à Trois the Silk Red Blend. They both pair beautifully with burning his love letters or the work files that he couldn’t find when he was moving out.
Malivoire Wine Company Guilty Men Red
Niagara Peninsula, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada
7 Deadly Zins Old Vine Zinfandel 2017
Lodi, California, United States
Ménage à Trois Silk Red Blend
– If you want to lighten it up a little bit, you can also go with a lovely Pinot Noir, like this one from the California winery, Imagery. Pinot Noir is known as the heartbreak grape because it’s so difficult to grow, just like some relationships.
Imagery Estate Winery Pinot Noir 2019
California, United States
– Or, you might want to up the ante or, the alcohol level and you could go with an Amarone Della Valpolicella from Italy like this beautiful one from Villa Annaberta.
Villa Annaberta Wines Amarone Della Valpolicella
Veneto D.O.C.G. Italy
It has a pleasantly, appropriate bitter finish and it would pair so well with dark chocolate and, I think, with signing alimony documents. Especially if you have a good divorce lawyer!
What if we want to lighten up the tone and wine selections, say over brunch?
– There’s nothing more celebratory than sparkling wine cocktails like these from Romeo, presumably for Juliette and her besties. The Mimosa is from Germany and the Bellini from France. They’ll pair well with omelettes and quiche.
Herres Romeo Orange Mimosa
Herres Romeo Peach Bellini
– You can also keep it light and fun with a couple of Rosés. This light Rosé is aptly named kiss and hug or, XOXO and this one from Gerard Bertrand, Côte des Roses which has this beautifully glass etched rose on the bottom of the bottle. Both have a strawberry fresh vibrancy that would be terrific with quiche, omelettes and waffles.
XOXO Light Rosé
Gerard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé 2019
Languedoc, Midi A.P., France
– However, if you’re doubling down on the syrup, then go for a sweet wine like this Ice Cider from Quebec’s La Cidrerie or an Icewine from Quails’ Gate. They’d both be great with waffles, or maybe milk chocolate.
La Cidrerie du Village Ice Cider
Montérégie, Quebec, Canada
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Riesling Icewine 2019
Okanagan Valley, BC V.Q.A., Canada
What’s the rule of thumb when pairing wine and chocolate?
– Dark chocolate is the easiest to pair with wine as it has the least sugar and dairy content, and the most cocoa. So that’s why an Amarone or a full bodied red would work with dark chocolate.
– Then there’s milk chocolate. It’s a favourite for a lot of people but it’s tougher on wine. It’s got more dairy, more sugar so then you have to up the sweetness in the wine. Like Port, or Sherry or something like that. Make sure the wine is sweeter than the chocolate otherwise the wine will taste bitter by comparison.
– White chocolate is the toughest because it’s the sweetest and doesn’t have any cocoa, which is why purists don’t even consider it chocolate.
Let me know in the comments: what’s your fave wine and chocolate pairing?