Aidy’s Beverage Cellar: Seven Perfect Date Wines
I’ve worn many hats in my life, but playing Cupid wine is a first.
Still, I do my best, and below I’ve explored some ideal wines for nights when it’s just the two of you. The seven bottles below should suit a wide range of tastes and are also suitable for a wide range of dates, whether pushing the boat on a Saturday night or just adding a touch of romance in the middle of the week.
With that in mind, it’s time to pop the cork on your inner Romeo or Juliet — here’s my pick of drinks for a date.
Della Vite Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Admittedly, I generally struggle with prosecco: more often than not, I find they exhibit so little flavor, I think I might as well drink sparkling water. The one I’m definitely not fighting with, however, is this bottle. By far the best prosecco I have ever tasted, this amazing product is the result of a partnership between the Delevingne sisters, Chloé, Poppy and Cara. Although it’s a bit more expensive than many are used to with this type of fizz, its texture, flavor and personality justify it. Apricot, nectarine and apples burst on the nose with a blend of pear, citrus, honey and tangy Danish pastry on the palate. If you are going to buy Italian bubbles, why not get the creme de la creme?
£18.69, The bottle club
ASDA Extra Special Rueda
Spanish wines have long been a bargain for the price, and this from the underrated Rueda region proves it. Made from verdejo grapes —a perfect substitute for the likes of sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio —this light dish is the perfect pick for a date night when you don’t want to break the bank. Drink it now to reveal notes of orange zest, fresh pears and almonds with a lime and citrus backbone and watch for the distinct texture that begins to form as it sits in the glass and warms up a bit. Oh, and it’s versatile with food, so whether you’re trying to impress with chicken or fish, it will do wonders.
Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc
I’ve lost count of the number of years the talk show favorite has had its wine on the shelves, but year after year the quality continues to improve. Made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, from New Zealand’s famed Marlborough region, it’s the perfect drink for an evening movie or an early evening toast. Gooseberry and passion fruit meet ripe, juicy apples with a kiss of pineapple. Charming and easy going stuff; one for when wine should definitely not be the focus of the evening.
£9.99, The bottle club
Wild Rosé Care
This quaint rose is produced from pinotage – try saying that after a drink – alongside a kiss of chenin blanc to guide its flavor in a more refreshing direction. It’s a wine that gives back, with every bottle helping endangered rhinos in South Africa through the Care for Wild program. The wine itself is bursting with fresh fruit and a silky mouthfeel. Everything from cherry, raspberry and gooseberry to peach, apple and pear is eye-catching. Perfectly suited to the sun, it’s anything but designed for a picnic date – just remember a bottle, as it’s at its best when chilled.
Tenuta di Arceno Arcanum Toscana IGT 2015
A date night wouldn’t be complete without a dreamy Tuscan red and this wonder ticks all the right boxes. A love story between France and Italy, it is frankly one of the best wines I have tasted this year. Rich tannins and deeply intense dark fruit combine to deliver seductive flavors of dark chocolate, ripe cherries, rich raspberries coated in black pepper and dark plums. The long, enveloping finish of cedar spice and cherry compote never seems to end. It screams romance from the second the aromas come out of the glass. Be sure to set the scene – carafe and candles, definitely – because, given the high (justified) price, it’s a best kept for those very special nights.
£90, KMW Wines
The Black Pig The Shiraz Prize 2019
Aussie shiraz ignites in me a desire that others feel on a fiery first date, and it’s a standout example of the style. Rich, decadent blackberries meet dark plums, cooked raspberries and woody spices: it’s incredibly intense, the flavors are focused and the finish is sumptuously long. It’s just what dreams are made of – well, mine, anyway. Be sure to decant about half an hour before drinking to get the most out of it; it’s young and it needs a bit of air to blossom.
£19.99, Virgin wines
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 2013
The latest version of the famous Pol Roger is one that impresses (well, that or say sorry with -!) Either way, what’s in the bottle is a force of nature, just like its namesake. The relationship between the Champagne house and the late Prime Minister began in 1945 when Churchill first tasted Pol Roger during a lunch with the British Ambassador to France. Upon meeting Odette Pol-Roger, the two began a lifelong friendship until her death in 1965. Each year Madame Pol-Roger would send Churchill a case of their vintage and upon her death the house even bordered black its labels for the bottles. destined for the UK as a mark of respect. Barely 10 years later, they still paid homage to him by naming their prestige cuvée after him (if that’s not a bit of wine-based date knowledge to impress, I don’t know what is). is!) Expect a blend of lemon zest with fresh apples and pears alongside a sticky honeyed brioche on the nose. The palate offers strawberries and raspberries married with creamy apricot and vanilla French toast before a zest of pink grapefruit hits on the finish. Divine; one for the kind of date that could also feature diamonds.
£236, The best bubble