Happy Valentine’s, Galetine’s, or Hump Day! However you choose to celebrate Wednesday, February 14, I suggest you do it with Finger Lakes wine.
We don’t go out for Valentine’s Day, never have, never will. Our tradition is to make a fun dinner at home and open a nicer bottle of wine. Usually one that requires a decanter because why not–it looks pretty cool and says “we’re kind of putting some effort into this night despite the fact that we’re wearing sweatpants.”
Decanting is the act of pouring your bottle of wine into another container (you can buy a nice decanter from Target or Amazon for $20). There are two major benefits: 1) the sediment that can occur in big old red wines gets trapped at the bottom, and 2) you aerate the wine. That’s what they mean when they say a wine needs to “breathe.” When poured into the container, the wine takes in oxygen which aids in releasing aroma and flavor. Highly tannic and full-bodied wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or blends can really benefit from this.
Decanting is fun for bold red wines because it really can improve the aroma and flavor (although another option is to vigorously swirl in your glass or leave the bottle open on the counter for an hour.
What we like to do is taste a sample of the wine before decanting, and then do small tastes every 15 minutes or so to see how it is changing. Sometimes, it barely changes, other times it is transformed.
We’re opening Red Tail Ridge’s 2013 Teroldego, a little known grape that originates from Italy and is the “aunt/uncle” of Syrah. The grape has both a giant tannin and a high acidity, making it perfect for Valentine’s Day meals like Surf and Turf where you need to consider both steak and seafood. It will be a fun wine to decant and drink slowly over the night!
See: Ruby color, opaque and rich
Smell: Begins with raspberry and blackberry, with hints of smoke and spice.
Sip: The palate has delicious notes of tart cherry and blueberry, and lingering fennel. It’s tannin is super grippy and chewy, but it is balanced out by a nice tart acidity.
Overall: This wine is so fun to taste because it has interesting notes like the blueberry, fennel and mint that make you question what you’re drinking. It’s also unique for the region, which makes it a fun wine to share. It’s a touch more expensive (around $40), which makes it a good date night or special wine to enjoy.
Winery: Red Tail Ridge Winery
Region/Sub-Region: Finger Lakes/Seneca Lake
Varietal: 100% Teroldego