Wines for your Honey

By Sunny Brown

With Valentines Day around the corner, it is time to start looking for something to share with that special someone in your life. Guys- don't be a guy and wait until the day of to find your gift. That last minute scrambling will only result in another Snuggie knock-off and an unhappy wife. Let's not have a repeat of last year.

Luckily Winegeeks is here to help. When it comes to wine, many Americans are a wee bit confused. We say we don't like sweeter wines, yet Riesling is one of the fastest growing wine categories for American consumers. When presented with a little residual sugar we protest, yet we are the world's largest consumer of sugary sodas. And this fails to mention juices, sweet teas and our fascination with Tony and his Frosted Flakes. Let's face it- we have sweet tooth.

So in that vein and with the most chocolaty of holidays coming up, I say we embrace our passion for sucrose stylings and wrap ourselves in pleasantly sweet somethings for Valentine's Day.

With the Jakob Schneider Spatlese Riesling you'll find a wine that is quintessentially German and absolutely delicious, a wine that delivers everything a good Riesling should- minerals, delicate floral notes, pleasantly balanced acidity and explosive fruit. The Nahe region is sometimes known for drier styles of riesling that sacrifice robust fruit for a crystalline texture and a long life, but as a whole the wines from the Schneider estate are always brimming with ripe fruit goodness and this wine is no exception. Ripe apples, peaches and orange zest notes and buoyed by ample acidity that does not deter from the fresh fruit, and a decadent texture that simply keeps the wine from feeling too heavy.

The Margaine Demi-Sec Champagne is probably the most delicious post-meal sparkler in the world. Instead of a rich and heavy dessert try this instead as it is ripe, soft, easy-drinking and satisfies the sweet tooth without stealing the life from your palate with sticky richness. Imagine a beautiful glass of Champagne- it offers fresh stone fruit, a lively mousse and a texture that literally dances across the palate. Now imagine that instead of fresh apricots that they are lusciously baked or that instead of pears straight from the tree they have been confitured. Just a hint of subtle weight on the palate is the only other indicator to this wine's "half-dry" status. Margaine is what is known as a recoltant manipulant or grower producer, a group of champagne producers on the rise that grow their own fruit and thus place a greater emphasis on quality from beginning to end. They are certainly worth trying.

And finally the Dashe Cellars Late Harvest Zinfandel is certainly an intriguing wine, one that excites the senses with its rich blackberry fruits, scintillatingly spicy notes and decadent dark chocolate waves. Sourced from very old vines in the Dry Creek Valley (long considered the California sweet spot for Zinfandel) and produced by the wife and husband team of Anne and Michael Dashe. Anne's history and education center on the Bordeaux region of France, while Mike is a California boy all the way. Their balance in life provides balance to their wines, and the late harvest Zin is a lovely yet powerful mix of spicy fruit and lush chocolate notes. With or without a box of truffles this wine is a real treat.

So go out and grab a delicious bottle of something sweet. Grab your special friend and then find a roaring fire to snuggle up next to. Enjoy. Repeat.