Wine love and romance go hand in hand, especially on Valentine’s Day. This year I wanted to make Valentines Day extra memorable by cooking a romantic dinner for my sweetheart paired with the perfect wines. Nothing says “I Love You” more than a delicious home cooked meal, in an intimate candlelit setting. So if you are still looking for a way to impress your love, I have the perfect ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s evening.
Having spent Valentine’s Day in Tuscany a few years ago with my love, I wanted to recreate the romance of the many delicious wines and meals we shared together on our trip. So many things about Italy make me think of love and romance, I mean Roma is spelled amor backwards, and is also the home of Saint Valentin. Italy also has such sex appeal with its romantic figures, like Sophia Loren and Rudolph Valentino and the seductive voice and music of Andrea Bocelli always takes me back to Italy.
This year I wanted to spend more time with my Valentine, than in the kitchen, so I kept the menu simple and easy and focused only on high quality ingredients. I prepared a simple salad with spinach and strawberries and for the main course I have a delicious pasta with sun-dried tomatoes with garlic and fresh herbs, click on link here for the recipe. I followed the pasta recipe exactly but added my own specialness by incorporating artichokes to the mix. After dinner we will share a delicious molten chocolate olive oil cake, click on link here for the recipe.. The key ingredient to both dishes being Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a quintessential Italian ingredient.
Now onto my favorite part, the wine pairing. Chianti is for lovers so I paired the pasta with Frescobaldi Nipozzano Chianti Riserva 2014, a classic from Tuscany. The sun-dried tomato and herb pasta demanded a wine that was elegant and soft and the Nipozzano was the ideal choice. The molten chocolate olive oil cake was incredibly easy to prepare yet deliciously decadent. I paired it with a seductive sweet red wine, Castello del Poggio Sweet Red. The apricot and peach notes in the Sweet Red were a nice compliment to the olive oil cake.
Finally add a touch of romance by setting the right mood for your candlelit dinner with music by Andrea Bocelli. With all the ingredients for a perfect Valentine’s you find yourselves whisked away to Italy.
This olive oil has been made by the Colavita family and has been imported into the United States for the last 30 years. It is made entirely from olives trees that are harvested and pressed in Italy. The olive oil is rich, smooth and full bodied with a nutty profile. There is a slight spiciness to the oil that is characteristic of Italian olive oils. This olive oil is great for salads, cooking and simply dipping. Colavita is a wonderful versatile EVOO for $12.
This lovely wine is symbolic of Tuscan winemaking due to its complexity and terroir. It is a blend of Sangiovese, Mavasia, Colorino, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has a beautiful deep red hue with a wonderfully intenses nose of flowers and red fruit. On the palate the wine is fresh and elegant with nice tannins. This Chianti Riserva has great structure and a long lingering finish. The wine pairs perfectly with pasta, yet its complexity and texture will allow it to pair with beef, steaks, and aged cheeses.
This Sweet Red is the product of centuries of spensieratezza – the Italian lighthearted way of life. This is a full bodied sweet wine with notes of apricot and peach. The palate is fruity and lush with velvety tannins. Ideal for Valentine’s Day!!