The Nicchia Lambrusco is without a doubt, the most romantic date wine in Devenish's armoury. Better than big dark Napa Cabernets, better than cerebral Barolos, better even than hedonistic white Burgundy. This is what you should drink for Valentine's. Here's why:
The Cantina di Sorbara was created following WWI when 19 farmers in Emilia Romagna pooled their land and expertise in order to make a more commercially viable winery. As Cantina Sorbara is still going the move obviously worked; however that's not too sexy or romantic.
This Lambrusco is named for the Countess of Castiglione: a famous courtesan and mistress to Napoleon who is credited with preventing the occupation of Paris following the Franco-Prussian war and helping Italy to be unified. She was a famously beautiful, passionate, and politically powerful woman. That's pretty romantic, but there's more.
All the history aside, the Nicchia really is a beautiful wine. The aroma is all kinds of fresh raspberries and candied cherries. It tastes of delicious juicy red fruit and verges on being lush with out quite crossing the line. This certainly isn't a sweet Lambrusco, yet it's not bone dry either; all the raspberry is rich and juicy but there's some acidity that makes me think of cranberry as well. Then the finish brings in more of the wines soft sparkle and the taste ends on an invigorating up note. Thanks to all the fruit and the effervescence it works with many different kinds of foods. I had it with a rich stew of beans, onions, and rice which the wine complimented nicely.
So the Nicchia is a playful, seductive, and beautiful red sparkling wine. That's better, that's more romantic. But what really makes this the best wine for Valentine's? It's 8% alcohol; not only does it go with all kinds of foods, not only is it exciting, fun, and energetic tasting. The Nicchia is low enough in alcohol that you can drink a whole bottle and still be exciting, fun, and energetic after dinner when you go to bed.
The Nicchia is about $12 and available at the Portland Rosemonts, RSVP, Tully's, Wine Seller in Rockland, Aurora Provisions, and Vic and Whit's in Saco.