Last year we posted a blog called Valentine’s Day at Home: Wine, Music and Menus and the response was so overwhelming and fun, we thought we have to do a Volume TWO!
It can be great getting dressed up, making reservations at a fancy restaurant and spending Valentine’s Day on the town. But these days, many couples opt to spend the holiday at home, especially when there are kids in the picture. When work has been crazy, the sitter is busy, the traffic is nuts and the restaurants are all booked, the idea of staying home, pouring a glass of wine, putting on some relaxing music and eating a delicious meal together sounds more and more appealing. We’ve put together a few menu plans (along with their matching wines and some fun music recommendations) to make your Valentine’s Day at home romantic, memorable and meaningful. After all, it’s not about going out – it’s about celebrating love!
Pour: Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne. A luxurious, world-famous Champagne that boasts soft white-fruit aromas of peaches and pears and a finish of fresh walnut. The smooth, juicy mid-palate segues to a clean, crisp finish ideal for sipping
Play: The Party, Andy Schauf. Bubbly songs full of fun combine with a nice dose of moody to create a playlist that is perfect for a party of two, cooking dinner, sipping Champagne and just being together.
Appetizer: French Butter Lettuce Salad, courtesy of Fine Cooking. The lightness of this simple salad makes the perfect starter for the creamy goodness to come.
Main Dish: Two recipes from Café Delights, the first being their insanely decadent, lemony, Creamy Garlic Scallops. These delicious little babies taste like they’re much more difficult to prep and cook than the reality. We paired them with another low-carb side – Buttery Mashed Cauliflower. Yes, please.
Dessert: This meal has been such a tasting tour of different textures! To keep it from getting too heavy, we decided to go with Craig Claiborne’s Ultimate Chocolate Mousse, courtesy of Food & Wine. If you’re looking for more texture, you can always add crumbled shortbread to this light and fluffy dessert.
Menu Plan #2 – For the Steak & Red Wine Lovers
Pour: Decoy Sonoma County Zinfandel. On the palate, layers of wild blueberry, blackberry and cassis are underscored by an elegant structure that includes supple, refined tannins, balanced acidity and just a hint of juicy sweetness and toasty oak.
Play: The Art of the Ballad, Thelonious Monk. The very first song, “Ruby My Dear”, sets a lovely tone for the evening. SO romantic, so mellow…. ahhh.
Appetizer: Let’s start off with something savory, cheesy and smoky – Zinfadelic’s Stuffed Mushrooms! Earthy-roasted cremini mushrooms are stuffed with savory bread crumbs, smoked paprika and melty Mahón cheese (if you can’t find Mahón, use parmesan or asiago).
Main Dish: What’s better than steak and red wine, you ask? How about these Steak Frites, served with a creamy shallot sauce and sautéed garlic spinach? You’re welcome. We got this recipe idea from Plated, one of those mail order dinner services. It’s an absolutely delicious meal, perfect for indulging on a romantic evening.
Dessert: We’re positively stuffed – let’s keep it light. We topped some fresh raspberries and strawberries with whipped cream infused with Grand Marnier, a recipe from Martha Stewart.
Pour: Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier. Crisp and elegant with hints of apple blossom, spring flowers, and lively melon flavors. This zesty medium-bodied blend makes a pleasantly dry companion for lots of different dishes.
Play: Little Creatures, Talking Heads. The bright flavors you’re about to cook need something bright to go along with the menu – this is perfect. If this album doesn’t have you and your sweetie dancing in your socks by the first track, we don’t know what to tell you!
Appetizer: Whether you steam them or fry them, Amanda Usen’s Scrumptious Thai Pot Stickers are perfect with white wine. The sauce recipe she pairs these little dumplings with is so vibrant!
Main Dish: Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, courtesy of The Spruce Eats. The odds are against us that this Valentine’s Day, either you or your S.O. is probably fighting off a cold or flu bug. That makes this soothing and flavorful soup the perfect weapon.
Dessert: We’re in the mood for something fruity and tropical – how about this incredibly easy 3-Ingredient Mango Sorbet? It comes to us from A Sweet Pea Chef. Bonus points – it’s got that extra boost of Vitamin C to ward off the winter bugs.
Pour: Bridlemile Dundee Hills Oregon Pinot Noir. Aged in new French oak, this premium Pinot opens with wood violet and cocoa aromas, uncovering flavors of black cherry and spice.
Play: Past is Prologue, Tycho. This is a soothing-yet-still-upbeat album that’s perfect for background music to go along with your exotically spiced menu and lush Pinot Noir.
Appetizer: Hummus With Crisp Maitake Mushrooms – Pair this deliciously earthy and piquant hummus with warm pita chips or crisp Persian cucumbers and watch palate sparks fly.
Main Dish: Farro Mujadara, courtesy of One Green Planet. This exotic-sounding dish is surprisingly made with simple ingredients found in many pantries, and the flavors are so elegant. It’s perfectly spiced and oh-so-comforting. You’ll love it.
Dessert: Definitely, definitely, Ottolenghi’s Tahini & Halva Brownies. The pairing with smooth Pinot Noir wine is unbelievable.