Whether it is a new date or a treat for your partner, pulling off a romantic dinner for two always pays back the effort put in. Your cooking skills will get you halfway there but going full-monty with a wine pairing experience will help ace it and blow the roof off.
Easy to prepare and with an aura of sexiness around them, Oysters always add that special touch to a romantic dinner. The ideal pairing and also the perfect ice-breaker is a nice glass of champagne, so our recommendation is Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut.
As a starter, risotto is quite easy to make, all the prep can be done in advance, and whilst you are enjoying your champagne you can start cooking. A very interesting risotto is the Risotto Milanese, with which its saffron-infused yellow colour feasts the eyes and not only your palate. It is simple to make and you can find many recipes online. Our pairing suggestion is Pio Cesare L’ Altro Chardonnay from the Piedmont. This wine has the body and crispiness needed to pair this dish.
Now in November, the weather is colder, so a nice hearty main course will be fitting. If you want to impress, a nice fillet of beef never misses the mark. Served on a celeriac purée and with a porcini mushroom sauce. Very easy to make and the purée and the sauce can also be prepared beforehand, with only the fillet left to finish the dish. You can also sear the meat and let it rest and give it a quick heating up. Such a dish, with its earthy and gamey flavours requires a wine with similar characteristics. The best grape variety to fit in that description is Pinot Noir. So, we would go for a Kellerei Terlan - Cantina Terlano Pinot Noir from the Alto-Adige.
We started with oysters so let be equally adventurous and finish off with cheese. A nice selection of cheese should include different flavours and texture, go for something soft, firm, aged and blue. Add something sweet like dried fruit, fruits and honey. Something savoury like nuts and also some bread and crackers. Through experience, the best wines for cheese are sweet wines and port. A nice glass of Maynards Vintage Port 2007.
Some extra tips. Always avoid over drinking, wine is a very good social lubricant but once you overdo it you will spoil the fun. We always suggest using Coravin which will allow you to try multiple wines and with no need to open the bottles, you will avoid wastages and the wine will be preserved perfectly. Using good glassware, apart from getting the best from the wines you are drinking, serving your wines in varietal specific Riedel glassware for every wine, will be quite an impressive show. Finally, same as with the wine, do not overdo it with the food, especially if you need energy left under the sheets.