February 3, 2023
For some folks, Valentine’s Day is considered an old fashioned and possibly outdated celebration. After all, why not celebrate your love every day, not just once a year? Even if that’s your perspective, wouldn’t it be nice to take a day to celebrate in an extra special way? Perhaps with a special meal?
A decadent home cooked dinner a deux can be a relaxing, and a low-key way to celebrate at home (no reservations or inflated prices!).
We’ve curated some ideas for a Valentine’s Day menu with easy yet mouthwatering dishes for two, plus the ideal pairings so you can create a tasting menu with several dishes or just pick and choose your plates.
Caesar salad is a classic appetizer for any occasion and it’s a staple on restaurant menus because it’s so good—and it’s easy to make. It’s tasty, tangy, crispy, and creamy all in one bowl of goodness. For Valentine’s Day, we recommend opting out of the garlic typically added to the dressing (for obvious reasons).
Michael David Chardonnay should be your pick to pour alongside this course. The perfect balance of fruits with French oak aging in this classic Chardonnay will balance nicely with the tartness of the Caesar dressing. Kim Crawford Rosé or Gazela Vinho Verde are also nice pairings to go with it, and you can find them at your neighbourhood Co-op Wine Spirits Beer.
Lobster is one of those seafood selections that we tend to save for only the most special occasions. So if you’ve been waiting, now‘s the time!
Lobster is decadent, buttery and melt-in-your-mouth tasty. Whether you pick up some lobster claw meat for use in a creamy pasta sauce, or opt for it served naked with a side of lemon butter, it’s a Valentine’s main course that sets the tone for the evening.
Our expert sommeliers recommend a buttery Chardonnay like the Michael David Chardonnay you’ll have poured with your salad course. If you want to sample a different pairing, Sandhill Pinot Gris is also a great choice with lobster, as is Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve, with its denser and creamier texture.
Grilled Striploin Steak is an ideal main course for beef lovers. To have the perfect striploin steak, grill the meat just to medium and let it sit before serving. This preserves the steak’s flavors and juiciness. Pair your perfectly grilled steak with a loaded baked potato or go all out and try making Thomas Keller’s famed pommes puree, which is like mashed potatoes, only they’re so decadent, creamy and buttery, they won’t need gravy.
Switching things up with a bold red with your steak is the way to go. Kendall Jackson Vintners Reserve Cabernet would be a delicious pour, or ask in your Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store for Freemark Abbey Merlot. If you want to pour a splurge wine, we love ll Poggione Brunello.
Dark Chocolate Cake
What better way there could be to end a great romantic dinner than with a super moist and fudgy dark chocolate cake? Of course you can impress by making one from scratch using your favourite recipe, but we won’t tell if use a boxed cake mix! Grab some frosting too, or layer the top with sliced fresh fruits and berries if you prefer
Take your dessert to the living room and lean back while nibbling away, and pour yourselves a Taylor 10 Year Tawny Port or Graham’s Six Grapes Port. The rich, sweet and dark taste of Graham's Six Grapes Port makes it an ideal option to pair with most desserts including cheeses, and dark chocolate.
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Chocolate covered strawberries are a dessert that’s actually easy to make, and requires few skills, but it looks impressive and just screams romance.
Just melt chocolate and dip the strawberries into it, then let them cool on a parchment lined baking sheet in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream or marshmallow fluff for dipping if you want some extra sweetness. Does your partner prefer savoury? You can chocolate-dip pretzels or pretzel sticks too for a sweet-savoury option.
If you’re going to go the chocolate covered strawberries route, there are several wines you can choose to enjoy with it.
Pair Chocolate Covered Strawberries with Bosc Moscato d’Asti, or opt for a bold and fruity Zinfandel like the Liberty School Zinfandel or Rodney Strong Zinfandel.
A nice way to wrap up the meal might be to open a bottle of bubbly with this final course, so pick up and chill a bottle of Lanson Champagne if that’s how you’d like to finish off the evening. The rest of the night is up to you!
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Holiday pairings from Hilary Thorne, Beddington Sommelier.
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