Wine & Spirits

Wines for Valentines

For your romantic dinner, you don’t need a lot, just something of quality. A split of bubbles, a big white or red, and a half bottle of a dessert wine will work wonders for your love life. This month’s selections are available at all Haskell’s locations or at

Perrier-Jou√ęt Champagne Grand Brut, NV (Epernay, France) Price: $13.99 (187 ml or split) Breakdown: chardonnay/pinot noir/pinot meunier • Bright, fresh, and balanced, this is a nice little starter. It’s just a taste—about two glasses—but should get your evening off on the right foot.

Hubert Veneau Pouilly Fume 2009 (Pouilly Fume, France) Price: $17.99 Breakdown: sauvignon blanc • The perfect pairing for halibut or oysters, this is a lighter style but has lots of lemony acid and minerals to bring out the best in an elegant fish dish.

Forman Chardonnay 2008 (Napa Valley, CA) Price: $34.99 Breakdown: chardonnay • This is a monster California chardonnay with oak, the right amount of butter, and, thankfully, the fruit to go along with it. It’s lobster or crab’s best friend.

Franciscan Magnificat 2005 (Napa Valley, CA) Price: $55.99 Breakdown: cabernet sauvignon/merlot/malbec/petit verdot/cabernet franc • Big, very complex, and full of blackberry, dark cherry, and chocolate, it just keeps on adding flavors and spices. It’s a good special-occasion red to go with that rib eye.

Smith Woodhouse Vintage Porto 2007 (Oporto, Portugal) Price: $45.99 (for a half bottle) • An expensive treat, this is a match made in heaven for chocolate. Keep in mind that even though it’s sweet, it’s fortified with alcohol, so it’s 40 proof. You only need a little bit for a nice end to an evening.

Bill Coy runs Vintage U, which organizes wine tastings, classes, and events for corporate groups, wine enthusiasts, and the general public. Reach him at