Make dinner plans with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day! We have the best ingredients for a memorable meal at home, plus all the best bottles for each of your favorite suppers.
If steak is your sweetie's choice, pair it with a red such as Kenwood Vineyards Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon ($24), a bold and luscious wine with black cherry and currant aromas and notes of roasted cocoa bean and mint.
Or try Brassfield Estate Winery Eruption Red Blend ($18), featuring jammy blackberry and plum notes complemented by cedar and anise with nicely astringent tannins for balance.
Try either of these reds with our recipe for Pan-Roasted Steak.
Pasta with red sauce goes well with a red, like Podere il Palazzino Toscana Rosso ($15). It has a combination of fruit, earth and minerality that is the hallmark of great Chianti. Juicy notes of Morello cherries and plums are supported by notes of anise, thyme and truffle. Try this wine with our recipe for Weeknight Rigatoni Ragù.
We like creamy white pasta dishes with Chardonnay, such as Toad Hollow Unoaked Chardonnay ($15). This wine has a faint pear aromatic and flavors of juicy melon, with a little apple-tartness in the finish. It has a beautiful balance of crispness and creaminess. Try this wine with our recipe for Creamy Chicken Marsala Ravioli.
Fish or Seafood
If salmon is on the menu, pair it with a red, such as Violet Hill Pinot Noir ($23), a medium-bodied bottle from Oregon. This wine's primary aromas of dark cherry, mocha and floral are echoed on a satiny palate with a bright finish. Or try Bieler Père & Fils Coteaux d'Aix En Provence Rosé ($14), which offers notes of peach, cherry and raspberry balanced by summer flowers, white tea and Provence herbs. Try these wines with our recipe for Slow-Roasted Citrus Salmon.
Light fish dishes, especially white fish dishes, always play nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc, like Elizabeth Spencer Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Fresh and fragrant, it has the perfect acidity and just the right amount of tart citrus and ripe fruit. Try this wine with our recipe for Aromatic Poached Sea Bass.
Finally, try shellfish recipes with a white, like La Caña Albariño ($19). According to Wine Spectator: "Firm acidity supports the round texture in this solid white, whose peach and lime flavors are balanced by brine and blanched almond notes. Reserved but harmonious and deep." Try this wine with our recipe for Seared Scallops in Grapeseed Oil.
Find these wines in any of Kowalski's Wine & Spirits shops, located at our Excelsior, Grand Avenue, Oak Park Heights, Shoreview, Uptown and Woodbury Markets. Selection and availability vary by market.