The thought of France conjures up romance. So why not bring a touch home for this cold month of February? These wines will take you on a little tour and help make up a perfect romantic dinner. A hint when it comes to understanding French wines: Most are named for their place of origin, not their grape. Selection from Cork Dork Wine Co., 4726 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-721-9463, corkdorkwineco.com
JJ Laurent-Perrier Brut NV
chardonnay, pinot noir, pinot meunier
• This wine smells like a warm, fresh buttered croissant, staying with the French romance theme. Beautiful Champagne, it’s elegant and will impress.
Someone you “like” like.
Domaine du Rin du Bois Touraine 2011
• Tours, in the province of Touraine, is the capital of this region where the main white grape is chenin blanc but sauvignon blanc is also widely planted. This wine is crisp and bright with minerals and lemony acid.
Oysters or scallops.
Chateau Fonguillon 2010
merlot, cabernet franc
• The silky, softer side of Bordeaux, this St. Emilion is complex but subtle. Balanced berry fruit, tannins, and earthiness make it food friendly and wallet friendly.
Beef tenderloin with grilled asparagus.
Chateau de Hauterive Chemin de Compostelle 2009
• The main grape in Cahors, just east of Bordeaux, is malbec. (Argentinean malbec is also French.) This wine is lush and full-bodied with blue and blackberry fruit, spice, pepper, and a bit of earthiness.
Rib eye with Gorgonzola and sweet corn mashed potatoes.
Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at VintageU@msn.com.