10 Valentine’s Day Wine Pairing for Romantic Comedies
Valentine’s Day tends to be one of those take it or leave it holidays. Some savor the opportunity to spend quality time with their significant other. While others reluctantly see the holiday more as singles awareness day. Either way, why not take advantage of the opportunity to treat yourself or the one you love? Going out to an overpriced dinner or splurging on expensive jewelry isn’t necessary. A wine and movie night is an easy, relaxed way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your other half, get together with your girls for Galentine’s Day, or ring in the holiday with some much needed self-care. Here are our top 10 romantic comedies with Valentine’s Day wine pairings to help you make February 14th a night to remember.
10 Things I Hate About You + Melon de Bourgogne
There’s nothing like a late 90’s high school rom-com to bring back all the first love feels. This 1999 classic stars Julia Stiles and the late, great Heath Ledger who are both completely over high school, yet not quite ready to dive into college. The film drew inspiration from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew as Heath Ledger’s character is paid to take out Stiles. Consequently, a whole slew of other characters are able to go out with her younger sister. Unexpected sparks fly between Ledger and Stiles while they bond over their longing to leave their dumb school and even dumber town.
The Wine Pairing: Melon de Bourgogne
Reach for a Melon de Bourgogne to pair with this angsty teen romance. The variety has flown somewhat under the radar for years. It’s originally from Burgundy, hence the name, but today has made a name for itself in Muscadet in the western Loire Valley. Just like the stars of 10 Things I Hate About You, Melon de Bourgogne is ready to break away from its home town and is ripe for a New World renaissance. No one is really clamoring after Melon de Bourgogne, but the grape makes beautiful, understated wines which deserve to be appreciated just like Stiles’ character in the film. Muscadet wines are youthful, fresh, and mineral-driven with high acidity, low body, and low alcohol. Expect aromas of lime, sea breeze, crushed seashell, green apple, and pear.
Try: Claude Branger, “Les Fils de Gras Mouton”, Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, Loire Valley $23.95.
The Notebook + A Languedoc Red Blend
The Notebook is one of the greatest love stories of our time.The film follows the archetypal tale of forbidden romance between social classes set in South Carolina in the 1940s. Noah, played by the ever charming Ryan Gosling, is a poor but passionate young man. He falls immediately in love with a rich young woman named Allie, played by the stunning Rachel McAdams. Noah gives her an impassioned sense of freedom from her orchestrated life as they fall desperately in love. But they’re soon separated due to their social differences. Allie’s parents don’t approve of their romance and Noah goes off to serve in World War II. Yet when Noah returns years later to their small town to find Allie engaged, it becomes clear their romance is anything but over.
The Wine Pairing: Languedoc Red Blend
A red blend from the Languedoc is the fabulous Valentine’s Day wine for this passionate love story. Languedoc is an often underestimated French wine region frequently overlooked in favor of red wines from nearby Bordeaux. Wine prices are much lower, but as we learn in The Notebook, money isn’t everything. Passion, spirit, and dedication can hold even more value and you’ll find all of the above in the Languedoc. Though wines here are more affordable, the Mediterranean climate with hot summer temperatures and low rainfall yields high quality grapes. When it comes to reds, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are all planted here.
Try: Domaine Triennes, “Saint Auguste,” Vin de Pays du Var, Languedoc $25.
This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah with concentrated flavors of black cherry, blackberry, nutmeg, and clove with a powerful finish. Ideal for the picture perfect ending of this film.
Silver Linings Playbook + South African Shiraz
This film’s all star cast is enough to sell you on Silver Linings Playbook. On top of that, the story is complex and emotionally captivating. It’s a good reminder that no matter what we struggle with personally, there is always space for love in our lives. Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solatano who winds up living with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) after losing his wife and job, and spending time in a mental institution suffering from bipolar disorder. He wants to rebuild his life and reunite with his wife. Then, things get complicated when Pat meets Tiffany, a widow with problems of her own played by Jennifer Lawrence. She won the Academy Award for best actress in a leading role for this film. Pat and Tiffany embark on a love/hate friendship founded on how they can help each other achieve their individual goals.
The Wine Pairing: South African Shiraz
A rom-com with explosive personalities and a touch of drama calls for a Valentine’s Day wine with explosive flavors and a boldness of its own. Head to the Southern Hemisphere where the French grape Syrah goes by another name–Shiraz. One of the most widely planted grapes in South Africa, Shiraz makes rich, full-bodied red wines with high alcohol thanks to the country’s hot climate. Just what you need to take the edge off of the cringeworthy, semi-heartbreaking yet relatable moments in Silver Linings Playbook. South African Shiraz bursts with aromas and flavors of dark fruits, spice, and pepper with hints of plum jam and violets.
Try: Ithafa, Shiraz, Western Cape $11.95.
Never Been Kissed + Grenache Rosé
Never Been Kissed is another late 90’s rom-com, this time starring a youthful Drew Barrymore playing Josie Geller. She’s a highly insecure 25-year-old copy editor at the Chicago Sun Times who has never had a romantic relationship. Her editor-in-chief assigns her to go undercover at a local high school to help parents become more aware of their children’s lives. Josie, a once ridiculed nerd, gets a makeover from her popular drop-out brother Rob. Both siblings return to school to relish in the joys of youth and early love. Inevitably, Josie falls for her English teacher, but is ordered to focus her undercover story on him. She’s faced with a conflicting decision of following her heart or saving her career.
The Wine Pairing: Grenache Rosé
Heading back to relive high school with Josie Grossie demands a fresh, vibrant, and fruity wine that ensures a good time. Enter: Grenache Rosé. If there’s one grape which consistently produces highly drinkable, enjoyable rosé, it’s Grenache. This rosé style always has zippy, crisp acidity to keep things fresh with orange citrus flavors. Plus, Grenache rosé bursts with cherry, grapefruit, and dried herbs. This Valentine’s Day wine is the ultimate palate refresher as you’re prepping for that first kiss.
Try: Mas La Chevaliere, Grenache, Pays d’Oc, Languedoc $22.95.
50 First Dates + Alsatian Riesling
In 50 First Dates, Adam Sandler plays a womanizing Marine veteran named Henry who falls for Lucy, an art teacher played by Drew Barrymore. But there’s a catch. Lucy suffers from short-term memory loss and can’t remember anything that happens the day prior. So every morning, Henry has to woo her all over again while proving to her protective family he’s in it for love.
The Wine Pairing: Alsatian Riesling
There’s nothing like an acid driven Riesling with stone fruit flavors to set the mood for those moments worth remembering. Just as Lucy starts each day with a blank slate, Riesling’s ability to freshen the palate is unmatched. Moreover, Riesling can be incredibly age worthy if you’re in it for the long haul like Henry. Today, most Alsatian Rieslings are made with a touch of residual sugar for that bit of sweetness all rom-coms need.
Try: Domaine Mittnacht, “Les Fossiles,” Alsace $28.95.
You’ve Got Mail + Chablis
This late 90’s romantic comedy was written and directed by the talented Nora Ephron and stars the charming duo of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. You’ve Got Mail portrays the story of a struggling boutique book seller named Kathleen Meyer and Joe Fox, head of the corporate Foxbooks chain store whom Kathleen hates. As a Foxbook store opens up across the street, the two rivals meet online and begin an intense anonymous Internet romance. Eventually, Joe learns he’s fallen for his competition. He must decide which of his feelings is truer, his cyber love or real-life dislike for his rival.
The Wine Pairing: Chardonnay from Chablis
Chardonnay is one of the most widely grown grapes around the world. The variety has tons of fans and tons of haters, too. Those who believe they dislike Chardonnay frequently just haven’t tasted enough different styles to find one they like. For example, a big, corporate producer vs. a boutique Burgundy domaine are going to yield two highly differing experiences, just like the bookstores in You’ve Got Mail. Chablis colors outside the lines of typical Chardonnay styles. The cool climate region in the north of Burgundy tends to pleasantly surprise wine lovers like an internet romance gone right. Chablis wines are known for their high acidity with flavors of green apple and citrus.
Try: Domaine d’Henri, “Saint Pierre,” Chablis, Burgundy $33.95.
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days + Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is a hilarious and heartwarming rom-com starring Kate Hudson as an advice columnist named Andie Anderson. She decides to write a boundary pushing piece on how to lose a guy in 10 days. With her editor’s approval, Andie heads out to find a man with whom she can test out techniques on and collect material for her column. She encounters Ben Berry, an executive played by Matthew McConaughey. He is so confident in his romantic skills that he believes he can make any woman fall in love with him in 10 days. When Andie and Ben meet, their plans backfire. Hilarity, and eventually romance, ensues.
The Wine Pairing: Anderson Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir is a notoriously difficult grape to grow. Yet as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days proves, the most challenging experiences can also be the most rewarding. Such is the case with Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. The cool climate region and French variety proved to be a match made in heaven. Besides, Pinot Noir always makes for a romantic Valentine’s Day wine. Anderson Valley Pinot offers typical aromas of red cherry and pomegranate, plus hints of mint and licorice. With a supple texture and a round, fruity finish, this wine definitely won’t last 10 days.
Try: Lichen, “Moonglow,” Anderson Valley $31.95.
Bridget Jones’ Diary + Primitivo
Renée Zellweger plays Bridget Jones, a 32-year old who decides it’s time to take control of her life and finally find love at the turn of the new year. To track her progress and hold herself accountable, she starts to keep a diary of her escapades. Bridget’s diary soon becomes filled with hilarious adventures in exercise, sex, food, and everything in between. While her dating life heats up with partners played by Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.
The Wine Pairing: Primitivo
The sensational adventures of Bridget Jones need a juicy, exhilarating wine to match. Primitivo, the Italian grape known as Zinfandel stateside, checks all the boxes for a memorable Valentine’s Day wine. Concentrated flavors raspberry, blackcherry, plum, and blueberry coupled with warm spices and intoxicating florals are enough to satiate a 32-year on a mission to enliven her sex life. While a full-body and sumptuous palate are enough to comfort any heartbreak.
Try: Hendry, “Block 24,” Primitivo, Napa Valley, California $37.95.
The 40 Year Old Virgin + Pinot Grigio
Although there’s nothing sadder than a 40-Year Old Virgin, this film is laugh out loud funny. Steve Carell is a friendly but nerdy 40-year old guy named Andy Stitzer who works at a big box store and has never done the deed. When his friends find out he’s never had sex, they try to help him lose his virginity. While attempting to get over his awkwardness with female customers, he meets a local shop owner named Trish and they start a slowly unfolding romance.
The Wine Pairing: Pinot Grigio
No other Valentine’s Day wine screams first time like Pinot Grigio. This Italian white wine is light on its feet and an uplifting sipper to match the straight up comedy that is The 40 Year Old Virgin. Pinot Grigio wines have perky aromas of lime, grapefruit, lemongrass, and peach with bright acidity and a smooth finish.
Try: Aquilegia, Pinot Grigio, Delle Venezie $12.95.
My Best Friend’s Wedding + Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney star in My Best Friend’ Wedding, a story about childhood best friends who vow to marry each other if they’re both still single by age 28. Just before Julianne Potter’s 28th birthday, her best friend Michael O’Neil unexpectedly announces he’s marrying a stunning 20-year-old named Kathleen, played by Cameron Diaz. Julianne suddenly realizes she’s been in love with her best friend all along and is determined to stop the wedding at all costs. Though the situation becomes even more complex when she’s asked to be the maid of honor.
The Wine Pairing: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
Falling in love with your best friend seems comfortable and easy. But as My Best Friend’s Wedding proves, it can get messy and complicated. Therefore, this film calls for a laidback, comforting Valentine’s Day wine like Montepulciano d’Abruzzo that’s sure to love you back. Montepulciano is a red grape variety prominent in the central Italian region of Abruzzo. It yields beautifully colored wines with medium to high tannins, medium acidity, and inviting flavors of black plum and cherry.
Try: Vigneti del Sole, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo $11.00.