February 9, 2021 – What’s more romantic than the perfect bottle of wine for Valentine’s Day? You know if one is good, then two might be better and three might even be the guarantee of a really fun evening of pairing and daring. Our local wineries invite you to come out for wine tasting on Valentine’s weekend, and enjoy the outdoors while you sip on those local beverages you’ve been missing. And you can also order some special selections online or pick up at the various wineries to enjoy at home.
At Assiduous Cellars, Winemaker, Keegan Mayo, is offering a special on a delightfully assertive carbonically macerated Merlot, which is nothing like any Merlot you’ve ever had, and a brawny chocolate-loving Malbec from Black Ridge Vineyards.
Bargetto Winery is offering an end of vintage case sale, at 30% off for non-members, and 40% off for members. Visit their tasting room in Soquel or call their tasting room directly for more information.
Bernardus is offering two great packages, including a 2018 Monterey Chardonnay and 2018 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir for $36.99, along with a lovely duo of 2018 Ingrid’s Chard and 2018 Ingrid’s Pinot Noir for $64.99. Available at the Bernardus tasting room for curbside pickup.
Big Basin Vineyards is once again open at the winery in Boulder Creek, offering two for one tastings for Valentine’s weekend. Reservations suggested. They’re also offering a special on the 2019 rosé (47% Grenache, 32% Carignan, 13% Syrah, 8% Mourvedre) for the month of February, with 30% off on 6+ and 35% off on 12+. You need to stock up on this, because global warming is here to stay. Treat it like a rich white wine to pair with roasted poultry and hearty winter soups.
Big Sur Vineyards in Carmel Valley invites you to join them for a glass of Sparkling Rosé or a flight of six wines, accompanied by a plate of sweet and savory treats on February 14, from noon until 7pm. Music by Tom Faia & Kate Miller, from 4pm to 7pm. $25/pp. Reservations suggested! Call 415.686.4550 or lenora@bigsurvineyards.
Birichino has teamed up with Katy and Stephen of Mutari White Label Chocolate in Santa Cruz, a bean-to-bar operation that recently won a 2020 Good Food Award for their 68% Madagascar Bar. For Valentine’s Day, they offer a bottle each of the 2018 St Georges Old Vine Zinfandel, new 2020 Vin Gris rosé, and 2018 Scylla Old Vine Carignane blend, along with a single origin Madagascar chocolate bar: a sweetheart of a deal at $65. For lovers of the light and bright, they are offering a bottle each of the 2016 Jurassic Park Sparkling Chenin Blanc, 2017 Boer Vineyard Pinot Noir, and their new 2020 Vin Gris, along with a Madagascar bar, for $95.
Burrell School has a Valentines Day 3 pack of 2017 Merlot, 2017 Cabernet Franc/Merlot and 2017 Old School for only $69, plus a bar of chocolate! 2013 Petit Verdot and 2013 Syrah on sale for $99. Open for pickup only until further notice.
Cantine Wine Bar presents the lovely guitar and vocals of Ed Lane, on Saturday Night, Valentine’s Eve, beginning at 7pm.
Caraccioli Cellars is rolling out its new rosé of Pinot Noir just in time for Valentine’s Day: it’s pretty in pink in dainty 500ml bottles and impressive magnums. And don’t forget the best way to charm your love is the Brut Rose or the Brut Cuvee, two most seductive sparklings to light up your life. (And please, don’t play Debbie Boone.)
Comanche Cellars thinks Heritage Chocolates of Corralitos makes the best local chocolates and they’ve got two special ways for you to enjoy them this year. Comanche’s Late Harvest Zin plus chocolates, just $35, or Comanche Cellars Sparkling Rosé and chocolates, $40. Plus, a virtual tasting on Friday, Feb. 12, introduces you to these new releases: Sparkling Albarino Pet Nat, Negrette, Grenache, Tondre Pinot and Merlot. Just $75 for 5 wines, tasting notes and presentation; $85 gets you an upgrade to their Reserve Tondre Pinot Noir. Yes, you want to do that! Wines can be picked up at the wine room in Monterey, or shipped for $15.
Dawn’s Dream has two special Valentine’s packages available: one with two bottles of 2019 Rosé, one box of Lula’s Sea Salt Caramels (6 pc) and one stainless steel “Rosé All Day” stemless wine glass, for $99, and the other for $69, with one bottle of Rosé. Flat rate shipping of $10. DawnVDay
El Vaquero Winery and Heritage Chocolates of Corralitos have created wine and chocolate tasting kit, consisting of four-ounce samples of six wines plus one chocolate for each wine, for $60. A 90-minute guided Zoom session with the winemakers and chocolatiers is available. Buy an extra set of six chocolates for just $15. Wine Club Members get a 20% discount – use coupon code EVWMEMBER at checkout. Two interactive online sessions available on Valentine’s Day, February 14th: Session A: 1—2:30pm PST, Session B: 4—5:30pm PST.
Equinox will be offering Marini’s Chocolates paired with their sparklers and reds. Saturday the 13th, it’s Parker Stokes of Bill the Oysterman doing a seafood pick up and shucking oysters to be enjoyed on site. Barry says it’s great to be open again for outside patio seating, Thursday through Monday.
Galante Vineyards invites you to cuddle up with your sweetie, with their Valentine’s bundles, including one or two bottles of 2017 Red Rose Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, one 6-piece box of Lulas Sea Salt Caramels and a Galante fleece throw blanket, just $99. Single bottle set, $69. Flat rate shipping of only $10: available while supplies last.
Janice and Joseph Gali, farm a lovely vineyard in Corralitos from which winemaker Tony Craig (Sonnet, Savannah-Chanelle) crafts amazing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Syrah under the Gali Vineyards label. Although they don’t have a tasting room at present, you can purchase their wines for 20% off at Gali using LOVE20 at checkout.
Hahn welcomes you to come by their Carmel tasting room and pick up a bottle each of their sparklings, because one is never enough: both the 2016 Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noir are sure to be a hit.
Integrity offers a two-hour interactive at-home winemaker tasting, that includes samples of seven wines (50 ml each), with winemaker, Mark Hoover, via Zoom on Sunday, February 14 from 1—3 pm PST. They ship to 40 states. $40 per person. Add-on chocolate and cheese pairing available.
J. Lohr is offering their recipe for a homemade heart-shaped pizza to accompany J. Lohr Pure Paso™ Proprietary Red Wine. Share your creation with J. Lohr on social media by using #ShareTheLohr. Get the recipe here.
Kings Mountain Vineyard has a vertical of their Bordeaux style blends, featuring the 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 vintages. A great snapshot of wine over time. Limit two sets per customer. They retail for $240 collectively, on sale for February at just $158/set.
KORi Wines tempts with a 25% discount on two bottles of 2019 rosé and one bottle of the 2018 Blanc de Blancs, for $75. Good through Feb. 14.
Joullian Vineyards is holding a virtual tasting of three of their wines (2015 Cabernet, 2017 Midnight Muscat, 2018 Monterey Rose) at 6pm on February 13, with winemaker Matt Piagari. Just $100.
Lepe Cellars will offer a wine and chocolate package consisting of 2018 Sangiovese Rosé, 2019 Pinot Noir Rosé and a box of Lula’s Chocolates (four pieces). Free shipping to anywhere in Monterey County and Santa Cruz County.
Lester Estate Vineyards will be open for tasting by reservation for both days of Valentine’s weekend. On February 13, they’ll release their 2017 Sparkling Brut, the culmination of a three-year passion project of owner, Patty Lester. To kick off the weekend, they’re holding a virtual tasting on February 12 at 4pm, with sparkling winemaker Dan Person, and viticulturalist, Prudy Foxx. Purchase two bottles of the Brut plus carefully selected cheeses for the seminar, for pickup at the winery.
Loma Prieta Winery will offer both the creamy delicious Pinotage sparkling and the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, perfect for a romantic evening of steak and lobster, for 20% off regular prices. Pinotage lovers will delight in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 vertical Amorosa for 20% off. They are open every weekend for outdoor tasting. No reservations required.
Mindego Ridge is open for outdoor tasting on Valentine’s weekend, with a flight of five wines in their beautiful outdoor pavilion on Alpine Road. They are offering 10% off until February 14 on two of their high-scoring single vineyard wines: 2016 Mindego Ridge Vineyard Chardonnay, 94 pts, Jeb Dunnuck and 2016 Mindego Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, 95 pts, Jeb Dunnuck. Complimentary shipping on two bottle purchases. But seriously, you want to go there!
Does your love pine for unoaked Chardonnay? Morgan Winery’s Metallico is the way to go. Like something richer? The 2017 Double L Chardonnay will double your enjoyment of this fetching wine from the cool end of the SLH bench. And truly, Twelve Clones Pinot has at least twelve reasons why it makes everyone’s mouth very happy: let me count the ways. Taste Morgan is turning up the heat this Valentine’s Day weekend with their new patio heaters: come check them out.
Why not give a gift of a unique wine club? The Wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains Club offers several ways to explore the unique terrain of the Santa Cruz Mountains without having to drive to every corner. Choose from three Club options: the Pinot Noir, Classic or Mountain Bordeaux Collection. Each highlights key aspects of the region and will introduce you to bottlings from both acclaimed producers and under-the-radar brands. The first shipment will be sent in March. A club membership would be the perfect gift for a wine lover: a gift that gives all year long. Three shipments yearly, four bottles each.
Pelican Ranch Winery celebrates Valentine’s day with a special Wine and Truffle pairing. Get ready to taste some of the finest hand-crafted truffles paired with a trio of dry or dessert wines. Chochophiles are invited to come from noon – 4:30 for the special truffle-wine fusion flight. Reservations are suggested.
At Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Jeff Emery has been in love with Pinot Noir since 1975. He is offering a four-pack of Pinot Noir for fans of this grape through Valentine’s Day. Typically, these wines would cost $167 if purchased individually, but you can take advantage of this offer for only $120. Included in the pack are the following: 2019 Riverview Vineyard (typically unavailable for retail sales); 2014 Bailey’s Branciforte Ridge; 2014 Branciforte Creek Vineyard; 2012 Vine Hill Reserve.
Scheid has bubbles and roses available for your sweetheart, but you have to pre-order by February 7. Call either the Greenfield 831.386.0316 or Carmel 831.626.9463 tasting rooms to order.
Ser offers wines by the glass for 1/2 off, and bottle sales, 15% off, for Valentine’s weekend. Enjoy 2019 Cabernet Pfeffer as well as the 2020 Rosé of Grenache in cans, too. Café Sparrow is offering a pair of tantalizing prix fixe dinners for two, meant to be enjoyed at one of Ser’s tables, or available to go. There’s steak and lobster, featuring petite pepper filet mignon topped with sauce Diane, plus lemon garlic broiled lobster tail, with choice of potatoes or rice, spiced beets or butternut squash purée, a Sparrow salad and chocolate espresso pots de crème, just $165.00. Seafood lovers will revel in the Bouillabaisse, a seafood dish of Dungeness crab broth with salmon, prawns, scallops and clams, served with saffron aioli croutons, a Sparrow salad and bread pudding for dessert, just $110. Available at Ser, 4—6:30pm: reservations strongly suggested. Nicole recommends pairing the filet with her 2015 Cabernet Pfeffer, and for the Bouillabaisse, go with the 2019 Ser Vermentino.
Stockwell Cellars will offer two complimentary Heritage wine chocolates with the purchase of any bottle of wine over $25 on Valentine’s Day.
Storrs has a virtual tasting of a flight of their old vine Rusty Ridge Zinfandels—2016 & 2017—scheduled for Saturday, Feb 13. If you have these wines, you are welcome to just join them on Facebook Live and pour yourself a glass. You can also order a special tasting kit featuring these Rusty Ridge Zinfandels plus one bottle of the newly-released 2017 Hidden Springs Estate Sparkling Rosé (méthode Champenoise), and a special box of four handmade chocolates from Heritage Chocolates of Corralitos.
Talbott Vineyards invites you to have a “heart to heart” with your sweetie over a bottle of their best-selling Kali Hart wines. Book a tasting outdoors in Carmel with the view of the Bay sipping on some amazing Talbott wines. Join the wine club and get your special someone a bottle of “Fidelity,” a perfect affirmation of your lasting love.
Twisted Roots in Carmel Valley offers sweet ways to give back and get treats. From Friday, February 12, through Sunday, February 14, only, enjoy:
- For every six bottles of Twisted Roots wines purchased, get three special Valentine’s Day cookies made with love from Sweet Elena’s in Sand City.
- In the “Share the Love Campaign,” 20% of all sales from Feb. 12–14 will benefit the nonprofit Partnership for Children, which provides much-needed transportation to medical services for children with life-threatening conditions and their families. The money raised will be used by Partnership for Children to purchase gas cards for the children’s families. The families are in need of $25 gas cards.
- Rosé all day! Twisted Roots Sparkling Rosé will be 20% off all weekend
VinoCruz will make your Valentine’s Day special with their multi-course dinner for two. Choose a starter (arugula salad, beets with pistachios or mushroom fennel soup), main (ribeye and butter poached prawns, glazed fingerlings and Brussels sprouts with truffle Béarnaise sauce; duck confit and red peppercorn ragu with herb risotto and asparagus; or handmade winter squash gnocchi, cherry tomatoes, garlic confit and parmesan cream), plus dessert (hazelnut chocolate decadence with espresso reduction or carrot chiffon cake with mascarpone) and a bottle of wine for two. Choice of sparkling, chardonnay, pinot noir or cabernet. Dinner for two, just $175, plus tax and tip. Also includes a house-made lavender and white chocolate truffle. Pickup and delivery options available. You can pre-order up to 24 hours before Valentine’s Day.
Windy Oaks wants to share some of their romantic favorites with you. They’re offering a bottle each of 2017 Sparkling Albarino (brut Mèthode Champenoise), 2016 SLH Grenache and 2017 ‘Bastide la Combe’ Rosé (Provençal style): all three bottles for only $75, good Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14 at their downtown Carmel tasting room and the Corralitos winery. (Carmel Valley remains on pause.)
Wrath Wines offers a Valentine’s pair of the newly released 2019 EX Unoaked Chardonnay and the yet-to-be-released 2018 EX Pinot Noir, reg. $48, now $36, available through Valentine’s Day. Gift Wrap available. Available in both tasting rooms or by calling the winery: 831.678.2212.
Wrights Station Vineyard is celebrating Valentines/Presidents weekend with a “Sweetheart Deal, ” which gets you 20% off all wine purchases, Friday through Sunday. The setting here is conducive to a lovely picnic: all tastings by reservation only. Their Valentine’s dinner with Colectivo Felix sold out in an hour. Stay tuned for more.
Laura Ness is a longtime wine journalist, columnist and judge who contributes regularly to Edible Monterey Bay, Spirited, WineOh.Tv, Los Gatos Magazine and Wine Industry Network, and a variety of consumer publications. Her passion is telling stories about the intriguing characters who inhabit the fascinating world of wine and food.