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Give Your Valentine’s Day a Lift With These 7 Wines

Valentine’s Day 2019 is kind of a weird one.

The ubiquitous Sweetheart candy hearts we have come to count on seeing each year around this time aren’t here. Instead, there are heart-shaped doughnuts that carry the “Be Mine” messaging.

But one constant for the holiday is wine. It doesn’t matter if you’ve planned a Valentine’s night out at a fancy restaurant or are planning a cozier night alone in front of the fire—a good wine can help enhance the experience.

It’s important to pick the right one, though. Just as a good wine can make a special occasion more memorable, a bad one can shut the evening down quickly. With that in mind, here are seven wines we’ve found that rise above the rest.

2014 Long Meadow Ranch Rutherford Estate Cabernet Sauvignon – 2014 was a good year for Napa Valley cabs. This rich offering is dominated by dark cherry and plum with very rounded tannins. It’s a deep, complex wine that goes great with a big meal.

2015 Ehlers Estate Cabernet Franc – Cab Francs are bold wines and the Ehlers Estate is no exception, but it’s not overwhelming. There’s an acidic quality that’s tempered by black and red cherries and strawberries. It’s a very full bodied offering with a nice, dry finish.

2015 Moon Fantasy Cabernet Sauvignon – A big, bold Cab that goes down incredibly smooth. The dark fruits, including blackberry, raspberry, and plum, mix with tobacco and leather to form a complex, but balanced wine that’s good today and will certainly get much, much better with age.

2016 Erath Oregon Pinot Noir – This affordable Pinot Noir bursts with tartness, and is loaded with the taste of blackberry, cherries, and a hint of cinnamon. It’s earthy and chewy and has a juicy finish that lingers.

2015 Gamble Heart Block Sauvignon Blanc – Valentine’s Day isn’t usually associated with white wines, but this Sauv Blanc is clean with a nice acidic finish. You’ll pick up grapefruit, lemons and Granny Smith apples, but you won’t get that earthy quality that some blancs carry.

2014 Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Cuvee Sparkling Wine – A Russian River sparkling wine that’s made in the Méthode Traditionnelle, this is a fairly inexpensive, bright bubbly that brings out hints of apple and strawberry. It pairs wonderfully with seafoods or cheese plates (especially rich cheeses, like goat’s milk) or as a compliment to a light desert.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs – Crisp and acidic, with apple and lemon flavors dancing across the palate, carrying a hint of spice. It’s a nice way to end a meal or move from dinner to a more romantic setting.