February 8, 2021
This Valentine’s Day will be less fabulous dinner out in a packed restaurant and more cozy evening in at home. If you’re feeling disappointed at not being able to go out this February 14th, we’ve got the solution for you.
“Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to highlight culinary skills with decedent menus including lobster, shrimp and steak,” says Karen Crippen, Sommelier Coordinator, Calgary Co-op Wine Spirits Beer. “Perfect beverage pairings can take some work, but we have some suggestions!”
One of those is to host your own mini Valentine’s Day cocktail and dinner party at home and discover our ideas for creating some sips laced with a generous helping of love…
Valentine’s Day Champagne Cocktails
A nice way to start a special evening is with a glass or bubbly or a Champagne cocktail.
“Sparkling wine is a fantastic choice on its own but also offers endless cocktailing opportunities,” Crippen suggests. “Right now I love Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne—it’s so nice for sipping all by itself and it sets a special tone for the evening.”
Upgrade your glass of bubbles this February 14th with these romantic cocktail ideas. Try a Pomegranate Mimosa: simply add a dash of pomegranate juice to your glass of Champagne and garnish with a few pomegranate seeds. Similarly, add some strawberry purée to your glass before topping off with some fizz. The added pink hue it gives to the drink is a bonus!
For a truly indulgent treat, prepare a Champagne ice cream float by adding a wee scoop of your favorite flavour to your flute before adding the bubbles. We suggest classic vanilla, or an orange or strawberry sorbet.
Pair wine—and beer!—with a decadent meal
Steak and lobster is a classic romantic meal pairing, but serving seafood solo is also popular; think shrimp cocktail, creamy seafood pasta or delicate scallops atop a bed of crisp greens. Don’t forget a creamy, mild Baked Brie appetizer to set the tone for the evening. While a white wine is the natural go-to for cheese and seafoods, Crippen says beer drinkers needn’t shy away from their favourite as a pairing.
“Lager style beer is refreshing and makes a perfect match for seafood. Or pick up Wild Rose Tillerman Pilsner; it’s one of our ‘Best from the West’ picks.” Crippen also suggests asking a Co-op Wine Spirits Beer sommelier or staff member to recommend something new or local.
Valentine’s Day dessert cocktails
Chocolate has long been associated with Valentine’s Day, so a Chocolate Martini is a natural idea. Combine 1 part Vodka, 1 part Bailey’s and 1 part Chocolate Liqueur in your shaker and shake it up with some ice cubes. Before serving, drizzle some chocolate syrup around the inside of the martini glass to create a cool look that’s almost too pretty to drink. For even more fun, crush some Oreos with a rolling pin, sprinkle the crumbs on a plate, dip the rim in chocolate liqueur, then press the rim of your glass into the crumbs to make a tasty garnish. Shaking the chocolate Martini will give it a nice foam, so be sure to finish it off with some chocolate sprinkles!
Try something a little more refreshing with a Passion Fruit Frozen Margarita. Combine passion fruit liqueur, tequila, Triple Sec, lime, plenty of ice and a scoop of mango or passion fruit sorbet in your food processor. Serve in a Margarita glass with passion fruit as a garnish and let the tropical flavours transport you to a beachy paradise… steel drum band music optional!
For a post-dinner treat, whip up a romantic boozy Affogato. Pour a shot of strong espresso over a scoop of vanilla ice cream before finishing with a shot of your favourite liqueur, and personally, we love amaretto, Bailey’s or a spiced rum. Finish with a crumble of cookie and you’ve got yourself a digestivo that’s sure to make you fall in love.
Finally, if you’re thinking of going decadent and traditional with a chocolate dessert, consider a wine pairing that will take you from dinner to dessert with ease.
“Full bodied reds such as Amarone from Italy will be the perfect complement to a grilled steak as well as dark chocolate! Try Social Collection Bin 105 Amarone,” suggests Crippen.
Spending Valentine’s Day at home doesn’t have to mean it can’t be fun or romantic. With our selection of Valentine’s Day cocktails, you can host your own romantic cocktail party that’s sure to set Cupid’s arrow flying.
Head to your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer stores to pick up supplies or to find more inspired ideas!
For wine drinkers, winter tends to be the season of robust reds, ports, and full-bodied vintages.
Father’s Day is just around the corner. Rather than hosting another basic cookout this year, throw him a party as special as he is.
However you choose to refer to it—May long, May two-four, Victoria Day weekend—May long weekend is the first official marker of summer.
Any wine lover knows that, like food, wine tastes change with the season.
At Co-op Wine Spirits Beer, we know you want quality products and are also looking for the best value.
Sometimes choosing a great wine can be overwhelming; there’s so much choice out there that it can be difficult to know which brands to trust.
While we may not get to spend the holidays physically together, we can at least share the moment virtually.
There is nothing quite like the perfect cocktail to set the mood for the holidays.
Co-op Wine Spirits Beer Sommelier Coordinator Katherine Mindach has some advice for cooking with alcohol:
“When you pour a little in the pot, make sure to…
This holiday season one of our favourite ways to feed family, friends and folks is to set up a grazing station and let everyone nibble…
Wine and cheese are natural pairs.
There’s something about the holidays that lets us all feel like we can indulge.
Thanksgiving may look a little different this year.
For more than 30 years, Viña Montes has been producing luxury wines from Chile and exporting them to customers worldwide.
At first glance, a distillery named after one of the monsters of the Mesozoic might seem a bit strange.
We’ve all heard that you’re not supposed to judge a book by it’s cover—or a wine by its label, but how many of us have…
Summer is the season of the gin & tonic, but gin is great in many more cocktails and summer sips; the French 75 or the…
Many of us dream about quitting our corporate jobs, moving to the country and living off the land.
Throwing a western-style BBQ to make up for the cancellation of the greatest outdoor show in Calgary? You need just the right cold drinks to…
Canada Day is right around the corner, but the coronavirus pandemic is still in the back of our minds, and physical distancing guidelines are in…