Ask people to tell you the first thing they think of when you say “Valentine’s Day,” and you’re likely to get a lot of “red” and “chocolate.” So, one could surmise, the perfect wine for Valentine’s Day would be a red wine that goes well with chocolate. The problem is, not many do. Dry reds tend to make chocolate taste sour, and vice versa.
That’s the beauty of Brachetto, a (typically) sweet, sparkling, ruby-red wine from the Piedmont region of northern Italy. Brachetto has an aroma akin to strawberries, and a fresh, lively flavor to match. It also clicks with chocolate just as well as strawberries, with the added bonus of a little alcohol thrown in. (Not too much, though—with only about 7 percent, it won’t have your date nodding off while you’re dimming the lights.)
Surdyk’s carries a couple of Brachetto wines, including a seductively sweet version from Castello del Poggio. Plan to pick up a bottle along with some gourmet chocolate from the cheese shop on the way to your V-Day rendezvous. The rest of the evening is up to you.