What to drink on Valentine's Day? Here's what the top sommeliers say!

Time for Valentine’s Day, and of course to open up some extra special bottle of wine. But what to drink? To give you some inspiration, we asked a bunch of the best sommeliers in the world for some advice!

These are the two questions we asked a bunch of top sommeliers in the Star Wine List network:

  1. What do you usually sell most of on Valentines at your venue?
  2. If you were to go out on Valentine’s, what would you order?

And this is what they answered:

Raimonds Tomsons.

Raimonds Tomsons (Sommelier, Vincents Restaurant, Riga)
1. Of course, there are a lot of bubbles, but we also offer a special tasting menu with a specially selected wine menu, and this is also very popular! For Champagnes, it is more rosé on Valentine’s Day.
2. Funny, but since I always have been working on that day, I do not even celebrate it, but most probably I would go for Champagne or a fine bottle of classic French red wine.

Rasmus Marquart (Sommelier, Lyst in Vejle and Best Sommelier of the Nordics 2019)
1. We are so lucky only to have one menu, which will be the only option for that day too.
2. Definitely oysters, caviar and Champagne (I have a Russian wife!)

Edwin Raben (sommelier and educator, Edwines, Netherlands)
1. Rosé like Bugey-Cerdon always works well around that time of year.
2. Personally, I drink whatever I want: White or red Burgundy, red Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Syrah. And always, Champagne!

Aris Sklavenitis.

Aris Sklavenitis (Head Sommelier and co-owner, Oinoscent, Athens)
1. Valentine’s Day is a unique day for couples. Sparkling wines and especially Champagne are the wines we sell the most.
2. I would like to drink a bottle of Jacquesson Avize Grand Cru 1995 Degorgement Tardif!!!

Rienne Bilz.

Rienne Bilz (General Manager and Beverage Director, MASH and Bistro Sommelier, Germany)
1. Wine by the glass. There's lots of first dates and uncertainty about what the other person will like.
2. I would go to a raw bar and have sherry and Champagne!

Taneli Lehtonen (sommelier, Muru, Helsinki)
1. Usually, in our restaurant, you can definitely see increased sales in rosé Champagne, which is rarely ordered by the glass, but we always open some special bottles during Valentine’s.
2. If I had the opportunity to go out on Valentine’s Day, I would order a bottle of an older vintage from the northern Rhône, because for me, Syrah always has lots of different flavours. Still, I usually find some dark chocolate and violets in there, and there is no girl who doesn’t like chocolate and flowers!

Thomas Simian (sommelier, Paris)
1. We usually sell a lot of wine on by the glass. Actually, many couples think that a bottle could be too much for two. But in the end, and because they want to try different kinds of wines, they drink lots of glasses (even more than a bottle).
2. This is a very good question. I used to always work on Valentine’s Day. However, it depends on the context. Since it’s exceptional to get any free time around this period, I would say one bottle of white and one red! No preference for the grape or region – just adapt to the moment.

Reeze Choi.

Reeze Choi (Head Sommelier, PIIN Wine Restaurant, Hong Kong)
1. It is not predominately, but I’ve sold quite a few rosé Champagne, and some Château Calon-Ségur because of the heart shape on the wine label. I have also heard some of the couples ordering the wines because the vintage was the same year that they met.
2. I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, but if I’d do, I would pick a bottle of memorable wine that I have enjoyed with my partner before. So my answer will be Ulysse Collin, Les Roises Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut!

Published 13-February-2020
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