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Wine can be a serious subject for those who are true connoisseurs, but it’s also meant to be about enjoyment, fun and celebration.
The Roman God of wine, Bacchus, was certainly up for a party! His name gives us the word 'Bacchanalia', meaning a feast with lots of free-flowing wine, food and general merriment.
And what fits in with this theme better than the most romantic time of the year, Valentine’s Day?
Whether wine is being given as a gift to a secret – or not so secret – admirer, or being opened over a romantic meal with your love, it’s the ideal drink for the celebration.
Here are expert Tom Cannavan’s favourite wine and champagnes for the special day.
1. Codorníu sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé Brut, Spain, priced at £9.99 or £7.99 as part of a mixed case from Oddbins
Codorníu are one of the biggest names in the world of Cava, the sparkling Spanish wine from the north of Spain near Barcelona. Codorníu have rosé Cavas in both Tesco and the Co-operative at £5.99, but Tom’s favourite is this superior and delicious fizz.
With flavours of strawberries and raspberries, this pick goes particularly well with foods such as smoked salmon blinis, or strawberries with pepper and balsamic vinegar.
2. Maxim's, Champagne Brut 'Années Folles', France, priced at £29.41 from www.thedrinkshop.com
The name 'Années Folles', refers to the decadent days of the 20s in Paris, where the most romantic spot in town was Maxim's restaurant close to the Place de la Concorde. Witness to most exuberant Parisian nightlife for over a century, this is Maxim's house Champagne which comes in a stunning red bottle - perfect for the one you love!
With tasting cues of flowers, yellow plums, and brioch, this champagne goes really nicely with oysters or caviar, or just on its own.
3. Vin de Pays d’Oc Maccabeu – Vermentino, priced from £9.99, www.gonedigging.co.uk
This pick is a special Valentine’s wine which Tom picked because of its appeal and suitability for the day of love.
This white wine is a decent southern French blend that is enjoyable when drunk on its own.