Your NYC Valentine’s Day Drinking Guide

Getting yourself ready for the perfect romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day can be seem a bit daunting. For your haute meal, we know you have to find the right drinks to compliment your food. We’ve got some ideas that are sweet, classy and luxurious. So, ignite that spark with some of these great drink ideas.

1. Sweeten Up Your Evening with Upscale Ice Wine

Inniskillin icewines are born and made delicious in Canada, which is known to produce superb ice wine because if its consistently cold climate. Inniskillin has been revered for creating the international market for Canadian Icewine, and we think if anything expresses how sweet your love is, its splurging on this delicious beverage. The grapes are frozen and picked at the coldest moment of a winter’s night, often in the early morning. The luxury of the ice wine come from the quality of each frozen grape, which creates just a few drops of icewine.

We love the 2007 Inniskillin Vidal Pearl, made of Vidal grapes, as one of the best casual, but still haute icewine. The flavor of the wine is reminiscent of fresh nectarine, papaya and orange blossoms.  Good food pairings for this bottle are charcuterie, dried fruits and decedent cheeses.

If you really want to impress and shock your partner, you can try the Royal DeMaria 2002 Meritage Icewine. Part of the Collector’s Series for the winery, this ice wine has been internationally acclaimed and some of the best in the world. Ice wines from Royal DeMariawere, in fact, requested by Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Canada in 2002. So if you want to make your lover feel like royalty, this is the way to go.

Inniskillin Vidal Pearl, $60/bottle,
Royal DeMaria 2002 Meritage, $10,000/bottle,

2. Crack Open A Bottle of Great Red or White

There are so many different kinds of wine out there; sometimes its tough to pick! We want to help you out with the research.

We love Sant Arturo Wines (which have been a frequent sipping accompaniment to the fabulous events of NYC). The Italian winemaker produces a beautiful Chianti Reserva; the dry and light-bodied flavor is well-balanced and perfect for an endive and blue cheese salad or a red meat entree. The Sant Arturo Pinot Grigio is a crowd favorite with its crisp and fruity flavor, which pairs well with a cheese plate or fish main course.

Master-Sommelier-turned-winemaker Richard Betts and Wine Director/art collector Dennis Scholl has also produced a beautifully upscale wine. Betts & Scholl wines are revered for their commitment to making the best wine they can, whether its in Napa, Australia or France. We love their 2005 Hermitage Rouge, at just $60 a bottle, it’s a steal! And all their bottles are beautiful down to the labels which are designed by contemporary artists from all over the world.

Sequoia Grove Winery has earned itself quite a bit of acclaim. The rustic winery, surrounded by Sequoia trees, has made a name for itself by bringing the highest quality 100% Napa fruit and combining it with the expertise of their President and Winemaker Michael Trujillo, bring the world complex and classy wines. We recommend the well-structured 2006 Morisoli Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon for a bold-flavored dinner which is $100/bottle. If you want to take it up a notch, the 2007 Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon comes in an etched and painted bottle that is gorgeous. The 6 liter size will give you something fabulous to place on your mantle place at $700/bottle.

3. U’Luvka Luxury Vodka Will Get You in the Valentine’s Day “Spirit”

With a name with “luv” in it, this award-winning Polish vodka is sure to put you in the loving mood. U’LuvkaVodka is inspired by Royal Court of 200 years ago; the bottle is a beautifully-shaped smooth teardrop. We suggest the signature gift set which comes in a sleek and swanky box with an ice bucket and two vodka glasses. It’s the perfect vodka to bring out, and mix in with some strawberry juice (for the red V-Day flavor) or add a little Champagne and some fresh raspberries.

U’Luvka Signature Gift Set, $250,

4. Head Out on the Town For Specialty Valentine’s Day Cocktails

Find some fine fining on Madison Square Park; SD26 Winebar & Lounge, is serving up some special cocktails just for the month of February. They add a little sugar and spice to the holiday with a glass of Vin Brulé.  The drink is an Italian favorite, and Chef Matteo Bergamini created the hot wine cocktail with warm red wine and cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. It comes in a ceramic bowl, ladled into a tall glass teacup.

230 Fifth has the city’s largest roof top bar, which may seem like a summer-event to you, but guess what, it’s winter-ready! Nothing says love like a beautiful view of the Big Apple. The interior is accented with hints of pink and purple, leaving you feeling truly Valentine-y. We think a good way to get the night warmed up is the Triple Hot Chocolate which is made with your hot chocolate of choice mixed with Godiva Chocolate Liquer and Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur. We also love their flavored hot ciders, which are not only delicious but have some spike to them to rev up your night.

SD26 is located at 19 East 26th Street, 212.265.5959.
230 Fifth is located at 230 Fifth Avenue, 212.725.4300.

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