If you’re wondering what to drink this Valentines we’ve got our wine expert on the case
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us which means it’s time to start thinking about the best ways to make it a special evening for you and your loved one. Whether you spend it with your partner of your best friend, it’s a day to show just how much you love your special someone.
I’ve been studying wine with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust for the past year, having achieved my Level 1 and 2 Awards in Wine while I’m currently undergoing my level 3. I’ve been travelling around the UK, and other countries, broadening my knowledge and understanding of wine so I can provide the most insight.
So here at the Mirror we’ve done the research to find some of the best bottles to buy to share with your special someone this Valentines. Don’t worry, if you’re not into wine there’s still something for you. Please remember to drink responsibly.
READ MORE: I compared budget Vs luxury red roses to find the best for Valentines Day
Jam Shed Black Forest Mess
There are some things we generally view as the basics of a red wine – that it’s to be served at room temperature and typically it’s quite dry. This is absolutely not the case with this bottle from Jam Shed, it’s best served on ice and it’s quite sweet. I don’t think sweet reds are something we see a lot of here in the UK, but if you’re wanting to try one out then I’d definitely suggest this.
Reds are often described as having cherry and chocolate on the nose but this wine straight up tastes like dessert. I think this is a great option for the end of a meal or settling in for a romantic evening – honestly it’s pretty good for Galentines too. I’d go as far as saying this is a bottle I want on my wine rack at all times and at £7 a bottle it’s a bargain.
Gypsy Lee Rose White Zinfandel 2022
I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that White Zinfandel has got a bit of a bad reputation. It’s got a salmon pink colour, is a little bit sweet and tastes like strawberries with a touch of candy. So I’d say it’s kind of perfect for the day of love? Gypsy Lee Rose is surprisingly good – odds are if you’ve tried rose wine out and about you’ve ended up with a glass of Californian White Zinfandel before but this one is so good it’s earned itself the LWA 2023 Gold Award.
The winemaker behind it is a mystery, but normally when wines stocked on Virgin Wines are down as anonymously made it’s because the winemaker makes expensive wine under their own name and they don’t want the world to know they’re also supplying their wine much cheaper under a different label. I’ve tried more White Zinfandels than I can even name over the years, and a few of them I actually couldn’t finish the glass, so I feel quite confident saying this is one of the best I’ve ever tried. At £9.99 I think it’s honestly a steal and if you’re looking for something that toes the line between sweet and dry, I think this is it.
Ultimate Provence Rosé
Last summer I vacationed in France, hitting up popular wine regions across the country before making it back to London. There were brands I’d heard of doing ‘the best Provence rose’ because well… everyone is convinced they’re the best. But in St Tropez there was one bottle that all of the locals swore by, it’s no surprise the estate is based on the outskirts of the town.
This pale pink wine is a lot dryer than you’ll find with Gypsy Lee Rose but still remains delicious and fruity. It has notes of raspberry and strawberry jam but there’s not any candied flavours in there – it’s a mature rose and pairs beautifully with seafood. You can get it from Waitrose for £15.99.
FYI THIS PART IS EMBARGOED UNTIL FEB 7TH ! CANNOT PUB BEFORE THEN
Gordon’s Premium Pink
Is there a pink spirit more classic than pink gin? I think not. In a gin balloon with lemonade or tonic, although I prefer lemonade, and a range of berries or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous even a dash of jellies (Tangfastics go surprisingly well). Right in times for Valentines the classic pink gin from Gordon’s have revamped their bottle in collaboration with Maya Jama and it is adorable.
Whether it’s for a girls night or something a little more romantic it’s a great option – and for the first time they’ve released a 0.0% ABV option for those who are sober and not wanting to miss out on the action. It similarly has a limited edition bottle with a little more colour, you can get the 0.0% ABV bottle for £16 or £17.50 for the 37.5% ABV version. If you’re not big on the taste of red berries then I’d strongly recommend Gordon’s White Peach.
Pommery ‘Brut Rosé Royal’ Champagne
Champagne is up there with the most romantic of drinks, there’s something about the bubbles and when the wine has a beautiful pale pink with touch of salmon colour it screams Valentines Day. Pommery has been made in Reims since 1836 and was the first house in Reims to create the Brut style of Champagne.
While most of their releases are delicious the Brut Rosé Royal is particularly special. It has a fine mousse, notes of stone fruit and red berries – and it’s even suitable for vegans. This is one of my favourite rose champagnes and it’s currently down to £39.99 on Waitrose.