Special wines for special occasions

A list of recommended wines and pairings for Valentine’s Day or other festive occasions.

If you’re looking for special wines for a romantic dinner with a loved one or a festive meal with friends or family, here are a few recommendations from our resident sommelier:

Champagne Pol Roger Brut

25% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier, 25% Chardonnay and 25% reserve (aged) wine, Champagne, France, 750 ml, $63 SAQ code 00051953

Pol Roger is a family institution founded in 1849. It shines with fruit notes like pear and mango as well as floral notes, fine bubbles, empyreumatic, slightly smoky and roasted hazelnut notes completed by a brioche touch and bees wax — it is really fresh, and long in the palate. This truly amazing champagne is well-rated and prize-winning. It’s a delicious way to start the apero without food or with foie gras, smoked salmon or grilled fish.

Patrick Piuze Non dosé Méthode Traditionnelle

100% Chardonnay, Bourgogne, France, 750 ml, $24.80 SAQ code 12999181

Piuze is a Québécois winemaker who moved Burgundy years ago. His wines will put a sparkle in the eyes of those who surround you!

Pares Baltà Pink Cava

38% Grenache, 32% Parellada and 30% Macabeo, Penedes? Spain, 750 ml, $17.70 SAQ code 12888043

This family-owned winery was established as far back as 1790. They produce interesting organic wines for a low price. This one is their rosé, made with a traditional method in hot and sunny Spain.

Château Bastor-Lamontagne 2017

100% Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux, France, 750 ml, $21.70 SAQ code 11593981

This Bordeaux organic wine is surprising, a departure from the typical sauvignon blanc: candied lemon, ripe pineapple, ripe peach, medium bodied, slightly woody and long in the palate. This wine brings a little light to every occasion.

Le Pive blanc

40% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Viognier, 20% Roussanne, Pays d’Oc, France, 750 ml, $16 SAQ code 13806097

An organic wine from Languedoc, and from vineyards close to the ocean. With apricot notes, this wine  is refreshing semi-aromatic, pleasurable and vibrant — as good as their fine Pive rosé. Try it with shrimps and a touch of orange zest, and/or a salad with lentils and mandarins.

Villa Wolf Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir, Pfalz, Germany, 750 ml, $15.20 SAQ code 13087555

Pfalz is located in southeast Germany, in a warmer region that brings a marvelous, refreshing and medium bodied pinot noir, with notes of cherries, spices and a bit of smoke. It’s incredibly well-balanced and rather long in the palate (not to mention great for the price). It would pair well with patés and charcuteries or a wine-marinated beef bavette with grilled mushrooms.

Faustino V Reserva 2013

92% Tempranillo, 8% Mazuelo, Rioja Alavesa, Spain, 750 ml. $18.45 SAQ code 10857497

This truly comforting red wine from Spain evokes ripe red cherries and strawberries, dried fruits, fresh acidity, wood notes, mild spices, melted tannins and dark chocolate.  Imagine you and your loved one(s) fireside and snacking  on charcuteries, tajine, sausages, spare ribs or grilled beef.

Domaine Cazes Muscat de Rivesaltes 2017

50% Muscat d’Alexandrie, 50% Muscat à petits grains, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 750 ml, $26.05 SAQ code 00961805

This organic sweet wine (vin doux naturel) strikes a fine balance and doesn’t seem that sweet given its acidity. On the nose, fruit salad is the first thing that comes to mind — all the tropical fruits you can imagine. A great pairing with a fruit salad, chocolate brownie cookies or deserts with fruits and cream.

Château Sigalas Rabaud 2013

85% Sémillon, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, Bordeaux, France, 375 ml, $44.75, SAQ code 13590433

This outstanding sweet wine 1er cru classé really takes you somewhere else — it is heavenly. Ripe tropical fruits, ripe apricot, tertiary aromas, complexity, fresh acidity and so long in the palate. Each sip is a pure joy and delight. This is best served with foie gras or desserts with tropical fruits, but stands tall on its own.

Cheers! ■

Claude Boileau is a certified sommelier.