Is wine a romantic beverage? Does it ring a bell or just a loud thud in your memory bank?
It often rings a bell for me, but other alcohol beverages don’t have the same effect.
When I think of beer the image of the Munich Oktoberfest with hefty lederhosen-wearing men and waitresses appears. Although there are many unique, expensive and pleasing liquors, the phrase, “wine is fine but liquor is quicker” always seems to reverberate in my memory recalling disastrous episodes with “demon rum”.
I do think one reason for wine’s appeal is that many women enjoy and prefer wine to other beverages and of course there is the old ballad about “the days of wine and roses,” both of which are associated with romantic events such as Valentine’s Day or other special occasions with women in mind.
Another factor is that wine can accompany one of the favorites offered on Valentine’s Day-chocolate. One sure accompaniment to chocolate is Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. When I first tasted the two I was astonished at the match. There may be other matches as well, perhaps some Port wines might work.
Another match is to balance chocolate’s richness with a lighter, fruitier wine such as Brachetto and other sweet, fizzy, low-alcohol reds from northern Italy.
Champagne and other sparkling wines have always been the wines of romance, whether it is true Champagne (from the Champagne district of France) or any other sparkling wine. Pink bubbles are even better for Valentine’s Day. Pair your choice drink with some figs. Why figs? Because figs are known to have aphrodisiac qualities. Ancient Greeks held them as sacred, associating them with love and fertility.
In the wine regions themselves, especially in France, there are titles of wine growing areas that resemble romantic words such as the Burgundian, “Romanee-Conti” and the Beaujolais cru called Saint Amour. Another possibility is a Pinot Blanc called Cuvee les Amours from Alsace produced by Hugel.
If you are wine fan and enjoy its romantic appeal, you are not alone, you are in good company:
Virginia Woolf: “Language is wine upon the lips.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning: “What I do and what I dream include thee, as the wine must taste of its own grapes”
“Where there is no wine there is no love.”
Euripides (c. 480–406 BC)
“Bacchus opens the gate of the heart. ”
Homer (Eighth Century BC)
“Who loves not wine, women and song, remains a fool his whole life long.”
Johann Heinrich Voss often attributed to Martin Luther
“Wine gives courage and makes men more apt for passion.”
Ovid (43 BC–17 AD)
“In water one sees one’s own face; but in wine one beholds the heart of another”.
“With wine in hand, one reaches the happy state—where men are wise, women beautiful; and even one’s children begin to look promising.”
For those of a literary bent, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Wine is bottled poetry”.
Ernest Hemingway spouted, “Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”
Even Martin Luther chimed in: “Beer is made by men, wine by God.”
And my favorite, Benjamin Franklin: “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy”.
[Article by David Swartzentruber]