Raegner : Valentine’s Day ideas, and don’t forget the wine | SkyHiNews.com
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Raegner : Valentine’s Day ideas, and don’t forget the wine

Ed Raegner
Valley Food & WIne

Valentine’s Day, a holiday that always evokes the idea of drinking Champagne. If you don’t know anything about Champagne don’t freak out, many people don’t. To technically be a Champagne the grapes must be grown in the Chardonnay region of France, everything else is a sparkling wine.

Spain has Cava, Italy has Prosecco, Asti and Brachettos, Germany has Sekt, all are Sparkling Wines. From 1668-1715 there was a Benedictine Monk named Dom Pérignon who is credited with many of the processes which modern champagne producers use including night harvests and picking grapes over many passes instead of all at once to make sure the grapes are ripe and ready. What makes Sparkling different is that it is fermented twice. During the second fermentation extra yeasts and sugars are added. This is what creates the bubbles and also adds a creamy element. During the second fermentation the pressure becomes equal to about 90psi, about three times the pressure on your car tires. This is why Sparkling Wines generally come in a thicker heavier bottle.

While trying to pick one, knowing these terms will be a big help: Brut=Very Dry, Extra Dry= extra Dry (shocker) Sec=Dry Demi Sec= medium dry and Doux= Sweet.

This is all great information but what does it do to help you on Valentine’s Day?

My advice is plan ahead. Go to your local liquor store at least a few days in advance. Think about how much you want to spend before you get there. Don’t be shy, ask the customer service folks their opinion.

If you’re going out for Valentine’s plan ahead as well. Check out the menu and ask a manager or server for the menu. See what’s available and, again, have a budget in mind.

Knowing what you’re going to order will give you an air of confidence and help minimize date night anxiety.

Don’t only think about Sparkling Wines for desert. Sparkling Wines are amazing with your appetizers or your salads.

My favorite thing to pair with Sparkling Wines is fried chicken with mac n cheese!

Some last minute Valentine ideas: most fine restaurants around the county offer special menus for the holiday featuring “romantic items.”

One of my favorites is to take the gondola ride to the top of Sunspot. A moonlit gondola ride up and down the mountain with a great meal in the middle is a terrific idea.

Going for a dog sled ride is an amazing adventure.

For something really special try a sunrise balloon ride, seeing the valley from above is amazing and something your partner won’t forget for a long time.

If you’re on the budget, there are still a lot of different ideas. We are blessed to live in a place where we are always surrounded by beauty..A snowshoe or cross country ski to a picnic is a great idea. Breakfast in bed is an old stand by for a reason, the most successful ideas are thoughtful and considerate.

Your partner will never be unhappy coming home to a cooked dinner and clean house!


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