Valentine’s Day: Share a Special Red, Comfort Foods with Your Sweetheart


consider having a romantic picnic inside– and eat on the floor!

While they may say “love the wine you’re with…” (oh, I mean “love the ONE you’re with”) I disagree. For Valentine’s Day or other important occasions, you want a wine and a partner you truly love.

And while sometimes you want to impress your sweetheart, sometimes you just want something that is special, but warm and comforting too.

This Valentine’s Day, consider sharing a special red wine paired with comfort foods AND your sweetheart.

And do I have two red wine recommendations for you! And a menu too!

Because in the winter, comfort food has that carmelized rich flavor that we crave…

Both of these Napa Valley Cabernet blended wines will leave you longing for more and certainly impress your Valentine’s Day sweetheart. Both wines are packaged in beautiful bottles, but it what’s inside that counts, right?


La Castellana – Super Tuscan – 2012 – Castello de Amorosa – 14.8% alcohol – $80
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Sangiovese, 9% Merlot



Flora Springs – Trilogy – 2013 – Red Wine – Napa Valley – 14.2% alcohol – Cabernet Based blend – $80
Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot

paired with

Brie en Croute with wild lingonberry jam and boysenberries – decadent and super easy. Buy pre-made at the grocery store, add a bit of jam on the top, pop in the oven and bake for about 25 min. When finished, take out, place on a plate, top with organic berries and you have a very impressive appetizer to enjoy while you wait for the Osso Bucco to come together in the instant pot.

Polenta – One of the easiest side dishes to make – hang out in the kitchen together for a few minutes and stir the pot!

Osco Busco in the instant pot – easy, relaxing, and delicious

Brussel Sprouts – drizzled with olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper and cooked at low heat in the oven for about 30 minutes, add pancetta, turn heat up to 350 and cook for about 15 more minutes.


Tossed Green Salad with pears, walnuts and blue cheese dressing. – Easy and went beautifully with both wines tonight

Fresh Organic Blackberry and Peach – Fruit Gallette on a bed of marcapone drizzled with honey. Because the galette was not overly sweet, It felt like another course in the meal and went wonderfully with the port, but would have been equally as wonderful with the Amoroso… if we had finished it!


La Castellana – Super Tuscan – 2012 – Castello de Amorosa – 14.8% alcohol – $80
76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Sangiovese,  9% Merlot

According to this Castello de Amorosa bottle, “La Castellana is the wife of the Lord and Master of a castle. Her duties include overseeing the daily domestic functions of the castle. One of La Castellana’s obligations would be choosing the castle’s finest wine that would be set aside for special, notable guests.”

A perfect choice for your special someone on Valentine’s Day!

Color is dense and dark: you cannot see your hand at the bottom of the glass when holding it because it is a really rich deep dense red, blood red even. Like your heart beating… or it is the color that pours out when your hear is broken…

Nose offers mint, fennel, earth, cola berries, Dr. Pepper, rich ripe berries and cherries, tobacco. As it opens, there is more tobacco, like a berry snuff.

Even and balanced, this wine rolls across the tongue like silk on your skin: it’s a surprisingly soft, sensual wine.   That touch of Sangiovese in this blend adds a beautiful spiciness to the cherry fruity notes of the cab, and that spice adds a sexy characteristic.

We really liked this wine, and found it super easy to drink, very pleasurable. It is very easy to get to the bottom of the glass — and yearn for more.  Cocoa or chocolate menthol on the finish lingers and makes you desirous of more of this supple, round, wine that coats the tongue but still feels clean and fresh. Chocolate covered cherry is the memory that lingers in your mouth, (and not those crappy cherry cordials that come from the drug store!) but more of the dark chocolate covering dried cherries kind of wine. This wine has a kiss of oak, it is not overly oaked like some Super Tuscans can be: there are very nice vanilla tones.

This wine makes you want to relax in front of the fire while drinking it!

While this wine does better with food, but is super enjoyable without food. It went great with our brie en route, but when paired with the spicy salami, this wine was to die for. And it definitely paired beautifully with the osso bucco with polenta.

This wine was a sample for my review consideration. Thank you SO MUCH Castello de Amorosa, we love you!!


Flora Springs  – Trilogy – 2013 – Red Wine – Napa Valley – 14.2% alcohol  – $80
Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot

In 1984, Flora Springs “set out to make the best wine possible by selecting the highest quality wine lots culled from our estate vineyards in Napa Valley” to create one of the original Heritage wines by blending traditional Bordeaux grapes. The 2013 Trilogy blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot from estate vineyards in Rutherford and Oakville.

in a wine that is richly fruited and generously structured. Dark and opulent with a saturated nose of blackberries, Bing cherries and sweet cassis, the wine slowly unfolds to reveal a core of black licorice, dark chocolate and mocha. This is a warm, voluptuous Napa Valley red with a long tannic structure that resolves in a lasting finish.”

We found the lovely color a remarkably deep dense dark rich red, not purple like petite verdot or petite syrah but a red red like a dark blood red, with this beautiful color due likely to the contributions of Malbec and Petit Verdot.

The nose needs to open up at  first, so give it a chance. There’s a bit of cherry and cheese upon opening even with a bit of a closed nose it is pleasant, like a cherry fest, cherry cola, cherry cordial, nice cherry

On the palate, more oak and caramel, a rich caramel with an ability to coat the palate. This wine has a bit more oak, but it is equally as comforting as the Amorosa. Beautiful balance, with so much cherry, cherry, cherry baby! There is a bit of bright fruit notes in this wine, rather than dried or super ripe fruit. Bing cherry and dried herbs: the Malbec and Petite Verdot give a beautiful brambles berry fruity characteristic to this wine.

Trilogy, we “love you berry much!”

Thinking about love and trilogy – on and one makes two, what you create together makes the third part…

This wine was a sample for my review consideration. Thank you SO MUCH Flora Springs, we love you!!

(Learn about how Fora Springs is a Ghost Winery and had reviews of their “ghostly” wines!


Taylor Fladgate – Late Bottled Vintage Porto – 2011 – $18 – 20% alcohol

Paired with our berry galette, this wine was the best choice to go with our dessert. The berry flavors (dressed with very little sugar or honey) and enhanced the port. Without the dessert, I was not very interested in this wine, I was totally ready to head back to the Amorosa or the Triology (most probably to the Amorosa as it went so brilliantly with our galette). For Gwen  there is a nice minty cleaning feeling and quality that she found refreshing and unique to this wine.

Both the galette and the brie encrote were wonderful bookends to the meal. They hugged the entire experience together. Tomato is a fruit, and tomato in the osoco bunco holds that flavor profile together, the beet in the salad holds the flavor profile together and the roastedness of  the brussel sprouts brought in the caramel and so it was wonderful how well the foods went with each other and the wines.


3 loves have I: this ginger cat, this bottle of Trilogy, these chocolates…

Happy Valentine’s Day!

For more comfort food, check out these posts and special THANKS to Host Cindy Rynning!


13 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day: Share a Special Red, Comfort Foods with Your Sweetheart

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  5. Wonderful ideas for a special Valentine’s Day! Love all the dishes you prepared but am especially enthusiastic about the Super Tuscan wine you paired with them. Your description makes it sound like appetizer, main course, and dessert all in one! Yum!


  6. Pingback: Wine and Comfort Food: Adler Fels Chardonnay and My (New) Favorite Grilled Cheese Sandwich - Grape Experiences

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