Valentine’s Day is the most important day of the year for selecting wine to share. I suggest decadent wines as particularly worthy, as their rich, luscious, voluptuous characters resonate with romance.

Below are wines recommended for Valentine’s Day. With a broad range of prices, grapes and even degree of decadence, there’s something for every loving couple to celebrate their romance on Valentine’s Day.


Castello del Poggio non-vintage Sweet Rosé, Frizzante, Italy ($13): Sweet, but not overly so, this widely appealing wine features fine fizz that adds to the enjoyment of its forward palate and good balance.

7 Deadly Zins (by Michael David) 2015 Zinfandel “Lodi” ($16): Zinfandel from Lodi seemingly defines decadence. This bargain has strong, rich, well-balanced fruit paired with power and core complexity.

Left Coast 2016 Pinot Gris “The Orchard, Willamette Valley” ($18): This highly enjoyable wine shines on the palate with expressive fruit, beautiful crisp acidity and a strong personality that extends for great length.

Klinker Brick 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Lodi” ($19): Lush fruit dominates on the attack, but is quickly joined by attractive tannins and complexity. All combine to produce an impressive, long finish.


Sauvage (by Gruet) non-vintage sparkling wine “Blanc de Blancs, USA” ($20): An attractive sparkler from New Mexico’s Gruet Winery featuring eye-catching yellow-gold color, very pleasing effervescence and forward flavors.

Macchia 2015 Barbera “Delicious, Lodi” ($22): Very expressive, with huge fruit producing a rich attack that is quickly accompanied by fine acidity leading to a somewhat leaner, much extended finish.

Chehalem 2015 Riesling SEXT, Ridgecrest Vineyards, Ribbon Ridge” ($24): A unique, highly pleasurable wine with sweetness accompanied by fresh acidity along with a touch of sparkle that adds personality. Available online.

Domain Zinck non-vintage sparkling wine “Brut Rosé, Crémant d’Alsace, France” ($25): This impressive sparkler features beautiful color, attractive Pinot Noir fruit, refreshing acidity, mouth-filling froth and enjoyable complexity.


Quilt 2015 Chardonnay “Napa Valley” ($35): Very forward on the palate with strong, rich fruit accompanied by pleasingly integrated oak and balancing acidity. Well-crafted and finishing with great strength and length.

MacMurray 2015 Pinot Noir “Russian River Valley, Sonoma County” ($38): Impressive in all dimensions, including fruit, strength and complexity on nose and palate from first sip through an elongated finish.

Ponzi 2014 Chardonnay “Reserve, Willamette Valley” ($40): Fine Oregon-styled Chardonnay with beautiful core fruit paired with refreshing acidity. Exceptionally well-integrated oak and a long-lingering finish.

Luca 2014 red blend “Beso de Dante, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina” ($41): This mostly Cab-Malbec blend is powerful on first sip and increases in appeal as smooth tannins and complexity join in at mid-palate and extend through a lengthy finish.

Smith Devereux 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Napa Valley” ($45): A well-priced Cab that is impressively refined with expressive fruit wonderfully melded to beautifully rounded tannins and excellent integration.

$50 plus

Caduceus 2013 red blend “Nagual de la Paciencia, Arizona” ($50): This engaging, contemplative blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera features rich fruit presented in a lean-ish style with strong yet well-blended tannins.

Mendel 2014 red blend “Unus, Mendoza, Argentina” ($50): A wonderful, Malbec-based blend is strong on nose and palate with fine balance, textured flavors and forward tannins expressed in a powerful, exceedingly long finish.

Trefethen 2013 Riesling “Late Harvest, Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley” ($50; 375 ml): A decadent dessert wine forward on the palate with full body, strong fruit, engaging complexity and long-lasting finish. Available online.

Le Ragose 2007 “Amarone della Valpolicella Classico” ($55): Amarone seemingly defines decadence, and this memorable wine has truly licentious fruit balanced and paired with gorgeously textured tannins over a prolonged finish.

Casisano (by Tommasi) 2011 Brunello di Montalcino” ($60): A finely polished wine with smooth texture, rich fruit and engaging tannins that combine in an extended, strong, beautiful finish.

Chehalem 2014 Pinot Noir “Reserve, Ridgecrest Vineyards, Ribbon Ridge” ($70): This superb wine from a great vintage has a wonderful nose, expressive fruit, excellent integration, impressive refinement and an exceptional finish. Available online.

Hayfork 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Lewelling Ranch, St. Helena, Napa Valley” ($88): Luminescent in the glass, powerful on the nose and wonderfully long-lingering on the palate with expressive fruit, refined texture and attractive tannins.

Amici 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon “Morisoli Vineyard, Rutherford, Napa Valley” ($125): An extraordinary wine, highly fitting for Valentine’s Day. It has grace and complexity on the nose and is strong, yet polished on the palate with gorgeous fruit and melded tannins combining to produce great style and length.

John Vankat’s Pine Wine appears every month and his Wine Pick of the Week is published every Wednesday. Wines can be ordered from local wine stores, unless indicated otherwise. Prices may vary. John can be reached at