Wine Press: My Wife's Five Favorite Wines, In Honor Of Valentine's Day

User Profile You are signed in as

Edit Public Profile Sign Out

Wine Press: My wife's five favorite wines, in honor of Valentine's Day

Updated ; Posted
Wine Press Feb. 5

We met in a wine store.

We can't remember exactly which day we met in 2009. We've tried many times over the years to pin down the exact date. But the best we can do is we met sometime in the fall of that year.

Even now, nearly nine years later, I'm still convinced we could figure out the exact date. All we have to do is figure out which days I was working at State Street Wines in Northampton and if it was raining that day.

It must have been raining that day since I can still vividly picture exactly what she was wearing - a bright, silver raincoat.

It was fairly busy that afternoon in the wine store. I worked there several days a week. And I can still remember a man asking me for help picking out wine.

That poor guy. I politely told him I would be with him in a minute. I don't remember talking to him ever again. That's because I couldn't take my eyes off her on the other side of the room. Her silver coat, her short hair, her graceful movements as she casually wandered around the aisles of wine, looking for a bottle. I had to meet her.

And based on working there for a few months, I knew that most customers only spent a few minutes in the store. I needed to act fast before she was gone forever.

I wandered over and asked her if I could help her find something.

She smiled, then proceeded to tell me in a round about way that she was looking for a few bottles of dry, red wine - a woman after my own heart.

I suggested two or three wines. I wish I could remember exactly which ones. As she was paying for them, I thought about asking for her phone number or giving her my number but it just didn't seem right, just didn't seem professional. 

So we smiled. She left. And I remember thinking, I'll see her again soon, I'm sure.

Weeks went by. A co-worker who was there when I met her said he had seen her in the store a few times but she was never there when I was there.

Then one day, there she was. We smiled at each other and immediately started talking about wine. She liked my suggestions. I suggested a few more. She bought those as well. I walked her outside, claiming I needed to do something out back. Then I handed her my phone number.

That's when she told me she wasn't single. But I honestly didn't care. I just enjoyed talking with her so much. That's how it feels when you meet your best friend in the world.

As I'm sure you can guess from the headline of the story, we eventually became more than just friends. We started dating in 2011. We got a dog that same year. Then we got married in 2012.

But one thing has remained the same - our mutual love of wine.

And I should state right up front I didn't turn my wife into a sophisticated wine drinker. In fact, she's far ahead of me in many ways.

We both belonged to wine drinking clubs in college.

Side note - we also both inherited older Chrysler sedans from a grandparent and share so many things in common, it's eerie. We both love literature, road cycling, Wagner, college basketball, oysters, British murder mysteries and practically every winter sport. Oh and did I mention when she was a kid, she had an imaginary friend named Kenny?

But back to the wine.

We both have similar tastes when it comes to wine. If my wife says a wine's great, I know it is.   

She also has an amazing palate and a bloodhound's sense of smell - both great traits when it comes to tasting and evaluating wine.

She's also very adventurous when it comes to trying new wines.

Whenever I'm trying a new wine for this column, she's almost always by my side, having a glass and talking with me about what she thinks about the wine.

In fact, I can thank her for us visiting two wine regions in France last year (Champagne and Burgundy) because she was the one who suggested we go somewhere else besides Paris, a city we both adore.

It also helps that my wife speaks French, thanks to growing up in Canada where many kids learn the language.

So this Valentine's Day, I want to dedicate my wine column to my wife and and her 5 favorite wines. Let me add that I ran these wines by her since the last thing I wanted to do next week was write a correction.

I also included recommended foods to serve with each wine. That's because anyone who knows my wife knows how much she loves cooking - and that she's an absolutely outstanding cook. 

So here they are, in no particular order. And let me add right up front that all five wines are from France. However, I could have easily written about a dozen other wines from France, Spain, Argentina, New Zealand or Canada's Niagara Region.


  • 2015 Gouleyant Cahors Malbec ($11.99 at Table & Vine in West Springfield)

  • 2015 Albert Bichot Meursault Domaine du Pavillon ($58 to $71 Suggested Retail Price)

  • 2013 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru ($99 SRP)

  • Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie Champagne (or another Taittinger Champagne)

  • Ruinart Brut Champagne (or another Ruinart Champagne)


2015 Gouleyant Cahors Malbec (and other hearty red wines from Cahors)

Another thing all five wines have in common - my wife has been to all the wine regions where these wines are made in France. I've never been to Cahors but my wife often raves about the rugged beauty of southwestern France. This corner of France is famous for making hearty, full-bodied red wines made with Malbec grapes. And this is one of my wife's favorite wines from Cahors.

Recommended food: Cassoulet. If you have several days to spare to make a complicated meal, this is the recipe for you. Cassoulet contains special white beans you can only find in France and several kinds of slow-cooked meats, including duck, pork and several kinds of sausage, which my wife makes from scratch. My wife and a friend made this meal last year and it was absolutely out of this world.

2015 Albert Bichot Meursault Domaine du Pavillon

In general, my wife loves big, hearty, dry red wines. But this subtle, buttery, slightly salty white wine from the Burgundy village of Meursault blew us away. We first tasted this wine at the winery last November. Made entirely with Chardonnay grapes, this wine will turn anyone into a Chardonnay lover.

Recommended food: Steamed lobster. One of my wife's favorite foods, we love cooking and eating lobsters in Prince Edward Island, a Canadian province north of Maine we have visited several times. There, we buy the lobsters from a lobsterman who leaves fresh, live lobsters in a cooler for us on his back porch. Absolute heaven.

2013 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru

One of my wife's favorite wineries in Burgundy, we spent nearly two hours there in November touring the winery's cellars in Beaune with Frederic Drouhin, president of Maison Joseph Drouhin and the great grandson of the legendary Burgundy winery's founder. Drouhin perfectly described this subtle, red wine as having "the warmth and the softness" of cashmere. 

Recommended food: Barbecued pork ribs. No discussion of my wife would be complete without discussing smoked meats. To say that my wife makes great barbecue would be an understatement. She makes her own rubs and has spent years perfecting the way she cooks food in our bullet smoker in our backyard. Her Polish grandmother would be proud.

Taittinger Les Folies de la Marquetterie Champagne

This was the first winery we visited together in France last year. Let me add that it was hard to leave Taittinger to go to the second one. To say that we had a great time tasting Champagne at Taittinger with Taittinger brand ambassador Jean Pierre Redont would be a huge understatement. Since then, we've tried many different Taittinger Champagnes. And while it's hard to pick a favorite among their wide range of dry, crisp Champagne, this one is one of my wife's favorite Taittinger Champagnes. Let me add that Taittinger is my wife's mother's favorite winery as well.

Recommended food: Oysters. My wife and I have planned entire vacations around oysters. It's one of the reasons why we first went to Prince Edward Island. And whenever we travel to France, we always make sure to bring an oyster shucker and my wife's wooden oyster board for shucking. That's because we often buy oysters at food markets in Paris, then take them back to an apartment we rent where my wife deftly shucks the oysters. I realize this sounds extravagant but trust me, eating oysters this way in France costs a fraction of what you'd spend in a restaurant. And it's way more fun. 

Ruinart Brut

I had never heard of this Champagne before I met my wife nine years ago. Now, it's one of my favorite Champagnes as well. We visited Ruinart's Champagne house last year and it was an absolutely amazing experience. But even if we hadn't been there, this crisp, bone-dry Champagne would be on this list. My wife and I have celebrated so many important events with this wine. And while the Ruinart Brut is sadly not available in the United States, she loves all of Ruinart's Champagnes almost as much.

Recommended food: I was going to recommend oysters for Ruinart. But since I already recommended them above, I asked my wife what food she would recommend with the Ruinart Brut. Her answer? Drink this wine while watching "Duel" on television while packing in Paris. Can't find "Duel"? Substitute "Murder, She Wrote," my wife's all-time favorite television show.

My wife used to buy a half bottle of Ruinart her last night in Paris and drink it while she was packing. As for "Duel," my wife has seen this 1971 made-for-television movie directed by Steven Spielberg many times on French television. Most Americans have never even heard of this movie starring Dennis Weaver. Then again, leave it to a Crazy Canadian to recommend an obscure movie with a beautiful wine. She's one of a kind and I love her.

Happy Valentine's Day, Andrea.


(Next Week - Reviews of Argentinian malbec wines plus the Wine Of The Week Under $10.)

Wine Press by Ken Ross appears on every Monday and in The Republican's weekend section every Thursday.

Follow Ken Ross on Twitter

Source :

Terima Kasih for visit my website
Wine Press: My wife's five favorite wines, in honor of Valentine's Day
Wine upmanship! Or how the latest status symbol is a £40,000 wine cellar buried under your sitting room
Viognier not yet the next chardonnay
The Elegant Relic of Restaurant Row
Baltimore's love landmarks: Spots with a history of romance -- and heartbreak
J's at Nashoba Winery welcomes new chef
Bern's Steak House wins 2016 James Beard Awards Outstanding Wine Program
An upbeat era for California Chardonnay
Glenn Puit: Block 65 wine honors a special life
Devoted husband, nurses grant Evansville woman’s dying wish