What's Open Owen? - February '22 Edition
What would you do for your Valentine?
For those who do indeed celebrate Valentine's Day, dining out at restaurants day-of is usually a total mess. I have worked on the floor of restaurants for many Valentine's Days, and it always ends with a few disgruntled couples. Pre-set menus, a kitchen in the weeds, and a 45-minute wait for your reservation are most likely what's happening, and it can be overwhelming and disappointing. One of my former GMs used to tell me, "only fools go out on Valentine's Day."
My advice? Avoid dining out at all costs, or celebrate it on another day. It's okay to celebrate it a few days earlier or later. No one will care, I promise. Your best bet, in reality, is to do something in the comfort of your own home. Cook dinner, order some wine, and relax, preferably in your pajamas. Your overall experience will be better.
To me, it is a celebration of your significant other and love, but to those who celebrate Single's Awareness Day, there is reason to indulge too. Treat yourself to Valentine's Day celebrations because you deserve it, and there is no better love than self-love.
I wanted to highlight a sweet wine in this spirit, and there is no better place to start than the storied region of Bordeaux. Sauternes, in general, is a very famous region for making sweet wines of the Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc grape varietals which have been affected by noble rot, or Botrytis cinerea.
What happens to these clusters is that the rot removes a lot of the liquid from the grapes, concentrating their flavor and leaving behind more sugar than water. Making wine out of this type of grape then produces very sweet, dessert-style wines that have become world-famous.
So what will I open for my wife on Valentine's Day? Here's what's open.
Château Guiraud Petit Guiraud 2016
This wine is 65% Semillion and 35% Sauvignon Blanc and has a yellow-gold color.
This particular vintage of 2016 was phenomenal, but the Château itself shines here. Château Guiraud is one of the first growths of the 1855 classification (the same classification of Château Margaux, Château Lafite Rothschild, etc.) and is the first of the crew to be certified organic.
The difference between this and the other first growths is that our open wine is a sweet, dessert wine from Sauternes rather than a big, bold red blend from the Left Bank.
This wine is quite sweet but is balanced out a bit by the Sauvignon Blanc and its acidity. There are notes of stewed apricots and peaches, along with honeysuckle, persimmons, and grapefruit. There is a great earthy tone of the entire wine, which would make it a classic pairing with some bleu cheese.
Not everyone loves sweet wine, but I would implore you to at least try one of the best in the world. Pairing it with something earthy will also balance its sweetness and make it a lot more enjoyable. You and your Valentine will revel in its sweetness together.
I made a list of wines I would choose for a Valentine's Day celebration, which you can find on VIVANT, rightfully called "wines to share with your valentine." I have included this particular bottle in the list, so check it out!
Have any questions or comments? Don't be afraid to reach out and let me know what you have open this month!