Art of Sommeliers Vol. 6
Valentine’s wine: What to do this year?
Valentine’s Day is approaching. In this column last year, TERRADA sommelier Arika Hata recommended wines that go well with chocolate. This year she’ll focus on the bottles women can give the wine-loving men in their lives. She will introduce wines for any type of relationship – ones to enjoy during special moments with your significant other, and “obligatory” wines you and your colleagues can give to show gratitude to your wine-loving boss. Make these ideas part of your new Valentine’s gift-giving style for wine lovers!
– Valentine’s day is upon us again. Many men in Japan are grateful for the “obligatory” chocolates they receive. But some would rather get a gift of wine. What varieties would you recommend giving on this day?
Hata: First, it’s important to consider your relationship with the recipient. Wines are generally more expensive than chocolates, so an “obligatory” gift of wine would come with a certain feeling of responsibility. Therefore, when giving wine to your boss or superior at the office, it’s best to make the gift along with other female coworkers. On the contrary, if it’s a “true love” gift to someone with whom you share feelings, and you will be enjoying some of the wine yourself, then it’s best to play it straight. (laughs)
•What would you choose for a “true love” wine gift?
Hata: My first answer would be Château Calon Ségur from Bordeaux. Everyone knows its heart label, and the château’s one-time owner, the Marquis de Ségur, once said, “My heart is with Calon.” These words inspired the label, making it a wonderful way to show your heart. The second label would be Le Marquis de Calon Ségur, and the third label is Saint-Estèphe de Calon Ségur. It’s nice to have a choice of price ranges.
•Any other recommendations?
Hata: Wine with a flower label would also be nice. You could look up its meaning in the language of flowers. Maybe it’s a little girlish, but it’s something special you can do with wine that shows your real emotions.
•And what about wines for “obligatory” gifts?
Hata: If your office is the type to hold events after the work day is done, how about saying thanks with a glass of piping hot vin chaud? Boiling it lowers the alcohol content, so you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying it at the office. It would also be nice to set out some chocolates. That can make for a chic way to spend afternoon break time.
•That sounds like a fun idea. But what if that opportunity doesn’t present itself?
Hata: Then a half-sized dessert wine works best. Sauternes, Banyuls, Port, and other sweet wines are surprisingly popular among men. But they probably don’t often get the chance to buy them, so they will surely be happy to receive one. In recent years, adults have thought of Valentine’s Day not just as a day for lovers, but also as a day to show gratitude. I’m sure you’ll find wine a useful way to say thanks.
(Interview conducted by: Kimiko Anzai)