5 Star Hotel Sommelier Reveals Which Wines to Pair with These Popular Valentine’s Day Meals – Many believe the act of cooking and sharing food is the ultimate love language. If you’re planning to enjoy an evening of good food this Valentine’s Day, why not go the extra mile and pair the perfect wine with your meal? Head Sommelier, Derek Scaife from The Grand, York one of the most romantic and historic hotels in York, shares his expert insights on which wines you should be pairing with these popular meals this Valentine’s Day.
Whether it is a fillet, rib eye or sirloin, a good steak is a classic Valentine’s Day dish. To make the most of the steak, a correct wine pairing is essential. Derek comments that “deciding which wine would pair best depends on the time of the year. The classic combination would be a bottle of red and I personally suggest a Malbec. For a special occasion such as Valentine’s Day, I would be looking for a good quality Malbec and would suggest the Zuccardi, Valles Malbec, Mendoza, 2020 from Argentina.”
If red isn’t to your fancy, Derek explains that “with steak, you can also go with a Rose. It may not be the classic pairing, especially with the popular style of Provence Rose but there are many other styles of Rose to choose from. I would suggest Guado al Tasso Scalabrone, a great Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Syrah blend from Italy.”
Sauces enhance the flavour profile of a steak, with popular choices including Bearnaise, Peppercorn, Blue Cheese, Garlic Butter, Sauce Diane, Salsa Verde and Chimichurri. Derek advises that “if you’re choosing to pair your steak with a sauce you would need to look at the sauce as the priority. Lighter sauces such as Garlic or Salsa Verde are best paired with a lighter red to allow the flavours of the sauce to come through.”
Here’s Derek’s choice of wine pairings with each popular steak sauce:
Bearnaise – Origen Grand Reserve Merlot from Chile
Peppercorn – Foncalieu, Via Nostrum, Minervois, 2018
Blue Cheese – Zuccardi, Valles Malbec, Mendoza, 2020 from Argentina.
Garlic Butter – J Charlet, Julienas,” Clos De Poulettes”, 2017.
Sauce Diane – Origen Grand Reserve Merlot from Chile
Salsa Verde – Foncalieu, Via Nostrum, Minervois, 2018
Chimichurri – Zuccardi, Valles Malbec, Mendoza, 2020 from Argentina.
Traditionally charming, the creamy pasta Carbonara is sure to be on a lot of people’s menus this Valentine’s Day. This dish is a true homage to one of the world’s most romantic countries, Italy, and it deserves nothing less than a matching Italian wine to compliment it.
Derek shares that “with the creamy Carbonara I would always choose a white wine. Specifically, I would look for Italian white wine for Italian food and I would suggest Feudo Arancio Grillo from Sicily, a medium body, high acidity, dry white wine.”
A classic chicken dish is certainly a safe yet worthwhile choice. Zesty, spicy, creamy, or fresh, this versatile meat needs the perfect wine pairing as the finishing touch.
If chicken were Derek’s dish of choice this Valentine’s Day, he would choose “a white wine certainly! and I would go for Domaine de Montmain Viognier from France as it pairs perfectly with chicken.”
Known for their aphrodisiac qualities, oysters are a popular Valentine’s Day choice and seafood is a good place to start for those wanting to impress this year. It’s light, and tasty and between the choices of lobster, seabass, salmon and more, there’s something for everyone.
To pair with a seafood dish, Derek explains that he “would recommend a white wine. I am a personal fan of an Albariño, from Galicia in Spain so I would suggest this Pazo de Lusco, Albariño, Rias Baixas, 2021. This is sure to go down a treat.”
Goats Cheese and Pomegranate Salad
Salads are often overlooked however, the combination of a rich goat’s cheese paired with the tarte yet sweet flavours of pomegranate is nothing short of a masterpiece. This light and refreshing dish will certainly scratch your cravings whilst leaving room for that all-important dessert.
With a goat’s cheese and pomegranate salad, Derek shares that “a white wine would be perfect. I would use a classic combination for goats’ cheese, such as a Domaine Paul Thomas Chavignol, Sancerre, Loire, France, 2021 if you’re really wanting to impress!”