This year, we offer a liquid alternative for Valentine’s day, a stylish cohort of wine and spirits to toast and embody love, passion and sex appeal.
(Note: All prices are approximate. Check with your neighborhood liquor store for availability.)
Nuvo L’Esprit de Paris for Her Sparkling Liqueur ($30 for 375 milliliters): A pink blend of French vodka, sparkling wine and tropical fruit marketed specifically to women. Serve chilled or over ice. Buy at ww.raederswine.com.
’05 Les Clos de Paulilles Banyuls Rimage ($20 for 500 milliliters): This unusual French wine (pronounced “bahn YOOLZ”) is made from extremely ripe grenache grapes, and it’s like dessert in a bottle (or France’s answer to port). Think deep berry flavors and richness balanced by peppery notes. Banyuls is often paired with chocolate (if you must do the chocolate thing). Buy at www.liquiddiscount.com.
Pallini Raspicello Raspberry Liqueur ($25 for 750 milliliters): An old Pallini family recipe that used wild raspberries inspired the creation of this blend of raspberries, blueberries and black currants that’s intensely fruity but still lively. Serve ice cold after dinner. Buy at www.winechateau.com.
Warre’s Otima 10 Year Old Tawny Port ($20 for 500 milliliters): Otima’s fairly groovy Web site quickly makes the point that it offers “a lighter, more contemporary style for today’s lifestyle . . . the perfect drink any time of the day.” Otima is ripe, fruity and freshened by good acidity and notes of bitter citrus. Pair with olives, nuts or blue cheese. Buy at www.americaswineshop.com.
Hundred Acre Pink Gold Rose ($25 for 750 milliliters): It’s hard to say which is more appealing – the wine bottle, adorned with a mystical passage rendered in flowing gold script, or the coppery pink wine itself, which contains shimmering 24 karat gold flakes, and which is a delicious, off-dry blend of cabernet sauvignon, gewürztraminer, chardonnay and viognier. Buy at www.finewinehouse.com.
Yalumba Muscat Museum Reserve ($20 for 375 milliliters): This Australian dessert wine ranks among Yalumba Winery’s occasional releases from its “library” of vintages. Ripe, raisiny muscat grapes are fortified with neutral grape spirit, matured in wood and then blended to produce a luscious, complex wine that balances fruit and age. Buy at www.wine.com.
’03 Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico ($65 for 750 milliliters): If your Valentine likes ‘em big, bold and packing a punch (but elegantly so), then Amarone, one of Italy’s great red wines, might be the perfect pour. Allegrini’s lush, concentrated specimen delivers intense berry fruit and chewy tannins. Mate it with a hunk of Valentine’s Day meat. Buy at www.wineaccess.com.
Here are details on the Tucson liquor stores that stock specialty wines, beers and liquors.
AJ’S FINE FOODS 2805 E. Skyline Drive, 232-6340
ARMITAGE WINE LOUNGE & CAFE 2905 E. Skyline Drive, 299-1728
THE BEVERAGE HOUSE • 6250 N. Oracle Road, 219-6424, • 4231 E. 22nd Street, Suite 141, 323-6566, and • 8660 E. Broadway, 296-9933
CATA VINOS WINE SHOP 3063 N. Alvernon Way
58 DEGREES & HOLDING CO. • 5340 E. Broadway, 747-5858 and • 4280 N. Campbell Ave., 529-2020
MAGEE ROAD LIQUORS
7980 N. Oracle Road, 297-9113
PASTICHE WINE SHOP 3025 N. Campbell Ave., 325-3333 pasticheme.com
PLAZA LIQUORS AND FINE WINES 2642 N. Campbell Ave., 327-0452
RUMRUNNER WINE & CHEESE CO. 3131 E. First St., 326-0121
WILKO 943 E. University Blvd., 792-6684
VINO 100 10110 N Oracle Road, 575-8466 vino100.com
- Taste Plus