The Local Pour: Bottle Notes to Impress

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and many couples are planning to celebrate the occasion with an elegant dinner out or a romantic night at home.  And nothing says romance more than a savoring a special bottle of wine together in the glowing candle light.   Whatever you choose to do this Valentine’s Day, consider these important tips for impressing your partner before popping the cork of your favorite wine.

1.  Selecting the right bottle
Try to pick a wine that holds a special meaning to you and your partner.  How about a wine from a place you went wine tasting together or a wine you enjoyed on a pervious date?  Visit a local winery or ask your local wine steward for wine pairing suggestions if you are making dinner at home.  It is important to remember that great wines do not need to break the bank, and the right wine sales associate will help you find the perfect wine that fits your budget.
2. Popping the cork
To open a bottle of wine, using a waiter’s corkscrew, cut the foil all the way around the rim of the bottle.  Remove the foil. Unfold your corkscrew and penetrate the cork slightly off center so the “worm” of the corkscrew will feed into the center of the cork. If you are using a double-clutch type of corkscrew, use the first stop to loosen the cork about halfway then use the longer stop to pry it the rest of the way out.
3. How to master the pour
Impress your partner with a masterful pour.  Leave the glass sitting on the table, aim for a “fall” – the distance from the bottle’s lip to the bottom of the wine glass’s bowl – of about 6 to 10 inches. This distance allows the wine to aerate a bit during the pour, which improves the flavor by softening the presence of the wine’s tannins and opening up fruit flavors and aromas. When you finish your pour, give the bottle a slight twist upward to keep it from dripping.
4. Don’t cry over spilled wine
If you are a little nervous on the big night and happen to spill a little wine, there are some easy steps to save yourself and your clothes.  Typically, you can blot the spill with a paper towel then immerse it in soda water, blot it again and then apply a baking soda paste. There are commercial products like Wineaway that will do the job, too!
5. Best wines with chocolate
A sweet ending to a perfect night should include a little chocolate and wine pairing.  Syrah-based wines have a richness of plumy, blackberry fruit and a dense, textured mouth-feel that cannot be beat with chocolate. Rogue Valley Syrah wines are some of the region’s best and award-winning reds.