Time spent with loved ones is always special and with the right bottle of wine, it can be even sweeter. And that’s where I, your very own sommelier, come in with my recommendations for the best wine you can buy—after all Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!
When I think about Valentine’s Day, I look for a wine that stands up to the aroma of fresh rose petals. It should pair well with any good chocolate that cocoons juicy strawberries. And it must be easy enough to find that I can buy it again for special date nights. While a bottle of bubbly can be difficult to resist for special occasions, my recommendation is to reach for a red wine—the color of love, the wine of winter, and the ideal aphrodisiac—that you can find at Trader Joe’s and that won’t break the bank.
Epicuro Nero d’Avola 2019 ($5.99)
My top Valentine’s Day wine pick hails from Sicily, a region consistently recognized for creating accessible and value-driven wines. Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted grape in Southern Italy and has been grown there for centuries. A classic for good reason, this grape becomes wine that is medium in body and plays well with both sweet and savory flavors. This wine smells as good as it tastes, with aromas of summer berries and red licorice. Its flavor is jammy yet spicy, meaning it can stand up to a grilled steak or keep playing through dessert. Coming in under $6 a bottle, this is my go-to for Galantine’s Day dinners spent giggling with the best of friends.
Splurgy Pick: Daou Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon 2021 ($23.99)
If you want to splurge a little, here’s a bonus pick: Daou Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon comes from a winery that was founded upon the bonds of family celebrating love. Since the ’90s, brothers George and Daniel Daou have been producing fantastic wines that showcase the best of Paso Robles, and this Cabernet Sauvignon is no exception. The aroma of this wine will remind you of sandalwood and eucalyptus mixed with summer cherries. It is full bodied, with flavors of ripe berries, plums, and chocolate. Just a few sips of this wine will amplify those chocolate covered strawberries to a whole new level of decadence. It generally costs $30 a bottle at most wine shops, but you can find it for $23.99 at Trader Joe’s.