Young sweethearts in Italy profess their love for each other all year round with a more recent tradition, attaching padlocks or "lucchetti" to bridges and railings and throwing away the key.
The celebration of Valentine's Day in Italy is actually an imported holiday from the American tradition, just like Halloween which was never originally an Italian tradition but is celebrated today. It is a holiday for romantic couples and children do not exchange Valentine cards as they do in North America.
The most romantic dinner in my opinion, is the one that you cook at home. Even better, if it's something that you can share off from the same big plate (our straight out of the cooking pan) together. Homemade fresh pasta such as Pappardelle or Gnocchi shares well between two and is a winner if you want to impress your better half. If you don't want the fuss of making pasta, try making two or three risotto in small portions. It is simple, elegant and quite savoury.
6 wines for St-Valentine’s day:
Nothing start better a romantic dinner than a glass of bubbly. For me, bubbles in wine remind me of shining stars or love sparkles. What better way to welcome your amante with a glass of Prosecco and and an antipasto of pesce crudo, to prepare him for a serata of gastronomic indulgences. Here are two selections that you will not disappoint your lover.
Fiol Prosecco. SAQ # 12999333. $16.05. LCBO # 394577. $16.10
Mineral, floral with lots of citrus character This Prosecco is pretty good bang for your buck. Zesty acidity, crisp and refreshing with a short smooth finish. Will be excellent choice with cherry tomato and bocconcini skewers or shrimp cocktail.
Bisol Crede 2015. SAQ # 10839168. $21.25. LCBO # 293141. $20.50
Crede, refers to clay terrains with different subsoils of marine sandstone situated in the hills where the Glera, Verdiso and Pinot Bianco vines do not suffer from drought in critical periods.The nose brings to mind notes of wildflowers that are quite Intense and fresh, followed by a delicate fruit nuance. On the palate, there are delicious hints of apples and pears with a complete harmony and a refined acidity.
After you have the antipasto, and the preliminaries have been concluded, it is time to move on the reds. While you make the main course, pop up a sultry bottle of red. Put some jazz music and enjoy your meal
San Felice Chianti-Classico 2014. SAQ # 00245241. $19.05. LCBO # 282996. $19.95
This wine is dominated by intense floral aromas of violet and red roses with subtle undertones of cherry and black pepper on the nose. Fresh and harmonious in the mouth, it has good acidity, lively tannins and a long, fruity finish. My go choice for a big tagliata of vitello and pasta on the side.
Fontanafredda Barolo 2012. SAQ # 00020214. $29.05. LCBO # 20214. $29.95
Nebbiolo is like the italian counterpart of French Pinot Noir. On the nose, the bouquet display Classic dark tar and perfumed dry roses of the variety. On the mouth, the wine display a great structure, concentration with elegant ripe tannins. This is a wine to have with a big bowl of pappardelle with funghi porcini.
Michele Chiarlo Tortoniano 2012. SAQ # 13004457. $41.00.
Aromatic black fruit profile on the nose. Also Mocha with flowers with tar notes. Long with young and austere tannins. Very long and elegant. A wine of passion. To be had with Gnocchi in a white truffle cream sauce.
A sweet end:
Its is well known that the grand closure of St-Valentine meal is the dessert itself. Most likely, it will be a chocolate based dessert with nuts or pastry cream. If you wish to pair it, you will need a wine with enough force to stand to the flavors of chocolate
Donnafugata Ben Ryé 2014. SAQ # 11301482. ( 375 ml $33.50). LCBO # 568063. ( 375 ml $42.00)
Tangerine marmalade with dry apricots and zabaglione. Decadent and sweet but balanced by a fresh acidity. Lovely flavors of mango and pineapple preserve. Peach jam finale. This would be nicely paired with a passion fruit chocolate mousse.