The Best Romantic Wines in 2024
Best Romantic Wines to Fall in Love
What makes a wine the right wine for a romantic occasion? Is it a name that suggests romance? Or perhaps it is a saucy label that will turn the drinkers’ minds toward things other than wine tasting that makes the best romantic wines?
The research of one vintner, the late Dr. Max Lake, suggests that it is the scent of a wine that makes it a catalyst for romance. Through his research, Dr. Lake discovered that the scents of certain wines could actually replicate that of human pheromones.
While all these things could potentially work to turn an evening from an amiable dinner to a night of romance, we believe that the key to choosing a romantic wine is pairing it to your dining companion’s taste preferences. So, while an earthy Pinot Noir has the potential to turn on a mate with one whiff of its sensual aroma, that really isn’t going to work if your amour is a white wine drinker. For that reason, we’ve created a well-rounded list of wines, with something for every taste and preference. We feel that each of these wines has a place in a romantic situation. But choosing the right one…well, that’s up to you!
• BUBBLES •
1. Champagne Taittinger Nocturne Sec
Origin: Reims, France
Varietals: 40% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Meunier
The Champagne Taittinger Nocturne spends four years on the lees before being disgorged. It is a blend of over thirty-five different crus from different harvests. The sugar dosage of 18 g per liter and combined with the slow cellar aging it produces a round, mellow, smooth champagne to enjoy with dessert or end the evening in a bubbly manner — therefore its evocative name Nocturne.
This distinctively sweet sec champagne has a pale yellow color. On the nose, the aromas are of white flowers, yellow peach and dried apricots. The palate is smooth and creamy yet very crisp and gives way to flavors of raisins and fruit in syrup. This mature, rich and round wine culminates in a long, smooth finish.
> For more information, visit Champagne Taittinger official website.
2. Bottega Rosé Gold, Prosecco
Origin: Lombardy, Italy
Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Artistry, energy and ingenuity abound in this enticing sparkling rosé from Sandro Bottega. The metallic bottle protects the wine from light, preserving the wine’s clean and refreshing aromas. Bottega was founded nearly 40 years ago by master distiller Aldo Bottega, Sandro’s father. The company is located in Castello Roganzuolo, about 30 miles from Venice, Italy.
The grapes are handpicked and pressed immediately, with 12 hours of skin contact to create a beautiful pink color. The Charmat method is used, with fermentation in stainless steel tanks and a secondary fermentation in sealed tanks for 40 days.
The wine displays a soft salmon pink with fine effervescence. Flower blossoms, strawberries and raspberries appear on the nose and the palate shows ripe red berries, floral notes and a well-balanced, fine finish.
> For more information, visit the Bottega official website.
3. 2018 Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée
This is one of California’s best-known sparkling wines because it is so often the choice for celebrating life’s most romantic moments. A pale, blushing pink bubbly with a fine and steady stream of pinpoint-sized bubbles, it easily puts the punctuation on weddings, engagement parties and anniversary celebrations. And it is, of course, an annual favorite Valentine’s Day wine. A sparkling wine that consistently delivers year after year, it offers a gentle medley of red fruit and stone fruit flavors with just enough lime citrus to give it freshness.
> For more information, visit Iron Horse official website.
4. Champagne Collet Brut Rosé
Origin: Aÿ, France
Varietals: 40% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir, 20% Pinot Meunier
For some occasions, nothing but pink Champagne will do. True, vibrant pink in hue, Champagne Collet’s Brut Rosé is the quintessential Valentine’s Day wine. Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or just a Tuesday night together, if you enjoy the “pop” of a cork on a bottle of pink bubbles, this wine is going to take you to your happy place.
A sparkling wine with positively frothy effervescence, it offers aromas of rose petals and vanilla. It bursts in the mouth with red fruit flavors and a sweet breakfast pastry note that lingers on the finish. (If Brut is more your style and you’re thirsty for Champagne, you may also want to check out our review of Champagne Collet’s Vintage Brut in GAYOT’s list of the Best Champagnes for Under $100.)
> For more information, visit Champagne Collet official website.
• RED & ROSÉS •
5. Sullivan Rutherford Estate, 2019 Coeur de Vigne, Cabernet Sauvignon
Origin: Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot
Translating to “Heart of the Vine,” the 2019 Coeur de Vigne is the ideal wine to celebrate love. This wine represents a reimagined classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that offers a deep garnet color and aromas that express the characteristics that make Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon so iconic: rich aromas of blackberry and blueberry that meld with hints of graphite, lavender and thyme.
The palate is dense to the core, coating and juicy with lots of cocoa dusted coffee beans flirt with baking spices. The long finish highlights undertones of toasted new oak, suggesting the wine will develop beautifully over time.
> For more information, visit the Sullivan Rutherford Estate official website.
6. 2019 Robert Mondavi Reserve Pinot Noir
Origin: Carneros, California, USA
Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir
This Pinot Noir makes our list for its compelling combination of masculine and feminine notes. Its aromas are fruity and floral with notes of cherries, red currants and violets. Its flavors are voluptuous and sexy. Up front, you’re treated to bright and intense red fruits, but as the wine reaches the back of the palate, more masculine notes of mocha and spice take over. The effect is an exciting, full palate experience, and it is one that should please both lovers of fruitier reds and those who like a red with muscle.
> For more information, visit Robert Mondavi official website.
7. 2022 Domaine de Cala Classic Rosé
France is filled with wineries whose history spans centuries. Domaine de Cala is not one of them. In fact, it is one of the youngest in the history of Provence. Yet, it is a winery that has already earned distinction. It is a recent venture for veteran restaurateur and celebrity chef Joachim Splichal — and the wines are of a quality you would expect from such an esteemed member of the food community. The Rosé offers a pale, almost golden hue. Its flavors are equally reserved. A dry, delicate and floral wine, its mineral finish makes you long for another sip.
> For more information, visit Domaine de Cala official website.
• WHITES •
8. 2022 Grosset Springvale Riesling
Origin: Clare Valley, Australia
Varietals: 100% Riesling
If ever there was a wine to make a case for Australian Riesling as a romantic occasion wine, this is it. The Springvale Riesling has long had a reputation as a good wine, but in 2019, all the elements came together to make this a special occasion wine at an affordable price. It begins with an aroma as intriguing as a freshly cut bouquet of roses. Although its flavors are bright and dominated by citrus, it somehow manages to maintain a soft, almost silky texture.
> For more information, visit Grosset official website.
9. 2019 Inniskillin Gold Vidal Icewine
Origin: Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Price: $70 for 375 ml.
Whether you’re looking to end a romantic evening on a sweet note or you and your love simply want to center an evening around a sweet wine, this well-balanced Icewine will help you seal the deal. It is made from grapes harvested frozen on the vine. They’re picked in the cold, crisp heart of the Canadian winter, but the result is a weighty, honeyed nectar that will warm your heart.
The wine offers a nice balance of lemon and tangerine acidity and sweet apricot, white peach and dried mango flavors. Although it is considered a dessert wine, it also makes a very nice choice with cheeses and other picnic foods, or try it with a light supper, perhaps seafood, and enjoy each other for dessert.
> For more information, visit Inniskillin official website.