Valentine’s Day gifting can get tricky, which is why we’ve broken down the five best bottles to gift this February 14th – and the (easy) desserts you can serve with them. With our recommendations, you can feel confident your Valentine’s Day desserts and drinks will knock it out of the park.
Champagne is the quintessential Valentine’s Day beverage, but it can get a little confusing if you’re not a regular drinker of this French fancy. Does ‘champagne’ just mean anything that bubbles when you pour it into a glass? A common misconception. Champagne can only call itself as such if it’s from the specific region in France called – you guessed it – Champagne.
We’d recommend a bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge NV Champagne or if you’re looking for a vintage (a batch of wine made in a specific year) grab a bottle of Cattier Vintage. What to serve with it? Try your hand at these poached pears which are not only easy to make but also utilise champagne (remember to pick up an extra bottle).
As far as Valentine’s gifts go, gin is both a suave and functional present. It’s a versatile spirit and if you get an artisanal, boutique gin – like The Melbourne Gin Company Gin – it’s an extra unique gift. The last few years have seen a boom in local gin distilleries, with other gins like Melbourne’s Four Pillars and Sydney’s Archie Rose making great gifts for lovers of robust flavour profiles.
This Valentine’s Day, match a zesty Negroni with some homemade chocolate mousse; orange and chocolate being a classic (and delicious) combination!
This may be an unconventional pairing, but you won’t regret it! Australia’s sparkling wine is an excellent shout for celebrating romantic occasions (and often, great value for money). The last couple of decades have seen Aussie bubbles grow in prestige, particularly wines from cooler climate regions like Tasmania.
So where does popcorn come in? Interestingly, buttered popcorn – or if you’re feeling fancy, popcorn with a little parmesan and garlic salt – pairs extremely well with sparkling wine. It also helps that it’s super cheap and easy to make. To impress your date, pick up a bottle of Arras Brut Elite Sparkling NV or Croser Vintage Sparkling.
A nice whisky could be considered a fitting end to a special meal all by itself – especially those varieties that lean to the sweeter side. But it’s Valentine’s Day, right? That means you gotta step it up a little.
Invest in a bottle of smooth and smoky scotch whisky – if you’re new to whisky, Ardberg 10-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky is a great place to start – which you can serve neat, with ice or with a splash water. The whisky’s notes of toffee and espresso would pair brilliantly with a crème brulee which despite its fancy reputation, actually takes less than an hour to cook.
Look, Valentine’s Day is about treating people with things that they actually like. And to some people, there is nothing better than kicking back with a cold beer. Although beer doesn’t necessarily scream ‘dessert’, there are ways to pair a cold one with a sweetie to great effect.
A yeastier beer, such as a Belgian ale, pairs perfectly with fruity desserts. Take your date to another level by serving a beer like Leffe Blonde or Hoegaarden White with a mouth-watering cherry pie.
There you have it! Five ways to do Valentine’s Day that are sure to impress. No judgement here if some of these desserts are too good to eat only once a year…