There’s more to Valentine’s Day than sappy cards and waxy chocolate. And if you’re reading this, something tells me you know what that would be: Vino!
Yes, darlings, if you want to really score some points this Valentine’s Day (or to paraphrase the late, great Donna Summer, anytime you feel love), get thee to a winery. Here, in no particular order, are Señorita Vino’s top three romantic winery picks. Mmmmuuahhhh!
1. St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, Napa Valley
Do you remember your first time? The exhilaration, the butterflies in your stomach, the thought that this could be The One? Ah yes…I’ll never forget the first time I joined a wine club without telling my husband. It was St. Supéry.
And Señor Jim was so accepting of my impulsive streak that we celebrated one of his Big Birthdays here with a private barrel tasting. Sip some of their sublime Sauvignon Blanc, then indulge your inner francophile with a game of pétanque. That’s French for bocce. Santé!
2. Bodega y Granja Narbona, Carmelo, Uruguay
The only depressing part of my visit to Bodega Narbona was that I was on business and thus traveling without my better half, the sensational Señor Jim. This is the kind of place that will make even the most die-hard cynic break out the red wine and roses. Not only can you taste a selection of fine Uruguayan wines, including the country’s signature Tannat, but you can dine here and stay the night. ¡Excelente!
Carmelo is in the heart of Uruguay’s wine country. It’s fairly easy to get there from Buenos Aires. Take the ferry to Colonia del Sacramento and then take a bus or taxi to Carmelo.
3. Castello di Amorosa, Napa Valley
¿Qué cosa? A medieval castle in the middle of a California vineyard? Winemaker Dario Sattui was so taken with medieval architecture and a particular castle he visited in Beaune, France that he decided to build one of his own back home. Besides the well-known international varietals like Pinot Noir, Merlot and Chardonnay, Castello di Amorosa produces Italian classics such as Pinot Grigio, Barbera and Sangiovese.
And here’s the super-romántico, almost-too-good-for-a-telenovela part: The winery offers two different proposal packages! Yes, chicas y chicos, you can pop the question in the castle tower or in a “hidden” room. You get 30 minutes of privacy, a bottle of wine and a fruit and cheese platter. You even get to keep the glasses! That’s what I call romance.
Señorita Vino wishes you all a Champagne-toast-worthy Valentine’s Day. I’ll leave you with a sentimental quote you can memorize and casually tell your main squeeze as you’re uncorking a bottle of bubbly tonight:
“May our love be like good wine–grow stronger as it grows older.” (Old English toast)