With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, it’s time to bring out your romantic side and plan a special evening with the one you love most. Impress your loved one with an indulgent homemade meal and ensure you choose the perfect wine to pair it with. After all, no special occasion is complete without a glass to accompany it.

Choosing a wine for Valentine's Day

Cheese Platter to Start

Cheese is much like wine in its complexity, diversity and wealth of options to choose from, so perhaps this is why they go so well together – when you choose the right pairing, of course.

Hard cheese matches perfectly with our McWilliam’s 842 Tumbarumba Chardonnay or our McW 660 Reserve Hilltops Cabernet Sauvignon

Soft cheese? Match it with our McW 480 Tumbarumba Pinot Grigio or our McW 660 Reserve Tumbarumba Pinot Noir.

Blue vein cheese demands a rich flavour to match, so try our Morning Light Botrytis Semillon or our McWilliam’s Show Reserve 25 year old Tawny.

Wines for a Cheese platter

Main Course
The main course is the heart of the night. Here are some fabulous meal and wine combinations.

Veggie Pizza + Chardonnay
On the other end of the pizza spectrum lies the forgotten vegetable-focused pizza. Try one with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, basil, spinach, goat’s cheese and olive oil, which goes well with Chardonnay. A dry Rosé wine would also perform well with all of the competing components of flavour.

Swordfish + Shiraz
Heavier, meatier seafood dishes, like grilled swordfish, hold up well with red wines like a medium bodied, fresh Shiraz.

Ribs + Syrah
Ribs and Syrah are practically soul mates. They have so much in common and the differences they do have, only complement each other. Both are meaty yet tender powerhouses that love a good dose of spice. Consider that well-sauced ribs bring out Syrah’s floral and plummy fruit notes, and meaty richness is absorbed by Syrah’s long gentle tannins.

It wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without chocolate. If you’re planning on indulging after dinner and would like the perfect glass to go with it, it will depend on what sweet treat you opt for.

Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt Caramel
For true indulgence, pair sea salted caramel with a Botrytis Semillon. Salt amps up flavours, so opt for a sweeter wine that will work with the bitterness of the cacao. A Botrytis Semillon with intense flavours of marmalade, peach and red apple, harmonise well with the buttery, salty and sweet flavours of the chocolate.

White Chocolate
White chocolate lovers should pour a glass of Pinot Grigio. Since white chocolate is delicate enough to match with white wines, a Pinot Grigio delivers flavours of spicy nashi pear and crisp gala apple flavours. The palate is aromatic, crisp and long, creating another great pairing with the chocolate.

This is an edited version of a story that first appeared on BurchWines.