Bubbles are for Tuesdays

February 14, 2013 | By | Comments (7)


We’ve all been there: wandering the wine aisle on V-Day, searching for just the right bottle—something impressive and romantic, yet understated and elegant. To stave off buyer’s remorse, we asked Sunset wine editor, Sara Schneider, to search out a few bottles she might serve a sweetie tonight.

“Bubbles are for Tuesdays and lush reds, like cabs or Syrahs, are so clichéd on Valentine’s Day. Sure, they’re sexy but too heavy and serious,” she says. “I’d go with Pinot Noir. It’s sensuous and kind of a tease, a mixture of haunting, warm spices like cloves and cinnamon with loamy forest floor.”

Shopping tip: “Even supermarket Pinot isn’t cheap, so expect to pay about $25 for a nice, romance-worthy wine,” she says. “And for Pinot, hedge your bets by sticking with bigger, tried-and-true producers—it’s easy to go astray fast.”

Pairing tips: “Pinot is great with mushrooms, a known aphrodisiac,” says Sara. “It’s also a good foil for exotic spices: cloves, cinnamon, cumin. Try them on duck or lamb chops.”

Sara’s wine-aisle Pinot picks:

2011 La Crema (Sonoma Coast), $25

“This is your all-purpose Valentine’s Day Pinot,” she says. “It’s ubiquitous (anybody and their mother could find it) and totally solid. It’s a little on the lush side with a lot of generous fruit. I’d pair it with duck.”

2010 Laetitia, $30

“A lively, fun wine. It sort of dances between dark fruit, exotic spice, and earth, but is balanced by a vibrant acidity. It has a musky nose and an intense cherry, berry flavor,” she says. “The juiciness would work well with a rare rack of lamb—I can picture it marinated in balsamic and warm spices, then roasted and served with fresh, spring veggies.”

2010 Gallo, $35

“This is winemaker Gina Gallo’s new baby—I like her wines a lot. It’s a bigger wine, a crowd-pleaser, with the name and pedigree to match,” says Sara. “It’s approachably fruity, but keeps the dark soul you want in a Pinot, and fits the idea of celebrating love because it engages both my heart and my head—it has a big yum factor, but I want to think about it too. With its exotic spices and plenty of body, you could go with a beef or pork dish with Asian or Indian spices.”


  1. Brut Rose Vertical « Laetitia Vineyard & Winery

    […] contributed by the Pinot Noir in the blend.  In the last year, this wine has been featured in Sunset Magazine (multiple times), 805 Living Magazine, The Californian, Denver Life Magazine, Examiner.com, Inside […]

    November 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm
  2. www.traiteurartisjok.be

    Its all good.

    June 4, 2013 at 7:42 am
  3. www.banksslionhearts.com

    A helpful article, I just given this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he in fact purchased me breakfast because I found it for him. :).. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thankx for spending the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love reading more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more info? It is extremely helpful for me. Two thumb up for this article!

    May 31, 2013 at 9:24 pm
  4. www.nadlanka.com

    I am trying so hard to accept that its safe to listen to you. I just read the preliminary report about the inquiry into why people were infected with hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood and blood products. Hundreds of people in Scotland, including haemophilia sufferers and other patients, were given contaminated blood in the over a period of about 20 years. Which is completely beyond belief. I found this site on hemorrhoid symptom and everything looks to be true.

    May 30, 2013 at 3:38 am
  5. Daisy

    Love it. 🙂

    So, can we expect a post about sparklers next Tuesday?

    February 15, 2013 at 9:28 am
  6. wm,lee,ron

    You are good kid… gma wants to know if “box wines are acceptable” ?
    gma gpa and ur dad

    February 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm
  7. Bernice

    Fabulous photography! Love the action shot – I can visualize the wine being poured. Great job! Thanks for the tips on the wines.

    February 14, 2013 at 6:11 pm

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