Quaffs to salve a broken heart

February 13, 2014 

She/he broke your heart. Or maybe you broke hers/his. Either way, you’re saying, “Kiss off, Cupid” this year.

Ah, but there’s an upside: Without the expense of Valentine’s Day flowers, candy and fancy restaurant meals, you can splurge on some really nice wine.

So buy yourself a great steak or a pound of stone crab claws and pair it with one of these wines — the finest I’ve tasted recently. You should start, of course, with a nice bubbly to toast your new-found freedom and the infinite possibilities of the future.

You go, girl/guy!

Highly recommended

Nonvintage Chandon Etoile Rosé sparkling wine, Napa/Sonoma: (49 percent chardonnay, 45 percent pinot noir, 6 percent pinot meunier): salmon color, lots of long-lasting bubbles, aromas and flavors of red raspberries and spice; $50.

2011 Champ de Reves Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley: powerful and crisp, with aromas and flavors of black raspberries, licorice and tobacco, full and creamy; $40.

2012 Artezin Zinfandel, Mendocino County: aromas and flavors of red raspberries and black pepper, spicy, hearty, smooth; $18.

2011 Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley: crisp flavors of ripe lemons and apricots, smooth and full-bodied, hint of minerals; $42.

2012 Wente Vineyards “Riverbank” Riesling, Arroyo Seco, Monterey: hint of sweetness, aromas and flavors of pink grapefruit and minerals, crisp; $15.


2012 Gavilan Chardonnay, by Chalone Vineyard, Sonoma: crisp and lively, with a hint of oak and tropical fruit aromas and flavors; $20.

2011 Wild Horse Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast: black cherries and black pepper, firm tannins, full body; $20.

2012 Edna Valley Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Central Coast: aromas and flavors of white grapefruit and grass, full body, long finish; $15.

2010 Matanzas Creek Winery Merlot, Sonoma County: aromas and flavors of black cherries and dark chocolate, firm tannins; $28.

2011 MacMurray Ranch Pinot Noir, Central Coast: hint of oak, flavors of black cherries and black coffee, rich and dry, crisp acids; $23.

2012 Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc, Somerston Estate, Napa Valley: aromas and flavors of ripe pears and oranges, crisp and light-bodied; $22.

Contact Fred Tasker at

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