Today’s post is by a special guest blogger: Victoria Stark, our very own East Coast Sales Manager at Dark Star Imports. This lady knows her vino, is an irreplaceable member of our wine team. For the blog today, she has been kind enough to give us a glimpse into how she will spend this most romantic of holidays.
As a newlywed, I have been asked a lot the last couple of weeks what I am doing for Valentine’s Day – my first as a married person. As the east coast sales manager at Dark Star Imports, I have been seeing a LOT of Valentine’s Day tasting menus lately. So many in fact, it seems like I skipped right from Christmas to V-Day and January didn’t even exist. I have travelled around the country for much of January and the one thing that has been consistent is every restaurant’s preparation for the “big day.” Restaurants have selected special wine pairings and chefs have included aphrodisiacs in every course possible. Don’t get me wrong – the extra business around V-Day is great, but I personally have always had mixed feelings about the day.
It is a true Hallmark holiday with all of the markings of traditions and love – the cards, the commercials, and the big teddy bears with even bigger plush hearts. Yet, it’s also a holiday that seems to evoke a lot of bitterness instead of spreading true love. There is pressure to impress, with the focus on money and then the feelings of exclusion if you aren’t in a relationship. Both aspects can quickly take the most romantic holiday down a depressing road. So to avoid these negatives, think about your ideal Valentine’s Day. Is it a lavish dinner with a special tasting menu, flowers, champagne, and truffles? Maybe it includes a card detailing your partner’s never dying love for you? Or perhaps, it’s a night with your closest friends, a bottle of wine and chocolates?
Instead of feeling the pressure of expectations to spend money on dinner, flowers and jewelry or figuring out what is appropriate for your relationship (no matter how new or old), I encourage you to take a step back and remember what Valentine’s Day is about . As much as I am excited to spend my first Valentine’s Day as a wife, February 14th is not just about the love of your life (if you have found that special person already). It is about everyone you love in your life.
So back to that pesky question: what am I doing for Valentine’s Day?
First, I am going to tell all the important people in my life how much they mean to me. Then, with my husband, our Valentine’s dinner will be at home. I am planning a simple, intimate affair with all of my favorites. Since I travel so much and am spoiled by eating at many restaurants (the good AND the bad), I usually like to stay home when I can. I’m going to go to Eataly to pick up: San Daniele prosciutto, house-made mozzarella and olive bread. To drink: a bottle of Bellavista Franciacorta Rose (also available at Eataly). I am a sucker for bubbles and the pink color of the wine will be just enough of a reminder that it is Valentine’s Day. If you’re not familiar with Franciacorta, it is the best sparkling wine in Italy. It is made from Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir) and Chardonnay, just like Champagne. A great (and more economical) alternative is Flor Rose. If you pick some up, make sure you keep it in your fridge or on ice so it’s at the right temperature. And don’t worry, I would never forget dessert! I am obsessed with the classic truffles (even in the heart-shaped box) at Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Try their Caramel Marshmallows for something different.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all and remember – celebrate the love you have in your life every day, not just on this one day.