ALL WINES UNDER $20

Jim Nejaime: Wines for a perfect Valentine's Day date night

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For your Valentine's eve celebration together, a delicious, perfect wine is required. However, selecting from aisles and racks of mass-produced wines is a daunting task.

We have searched the world and found tiny, top-quality artisanal wines that will make you look like a Master Sommelier when you open and share any of these gems. Order your favorite take-out, bring home with one of these special wines, and perhaps finish with some silky dessert treats picked up from our Berkshire's outstanding chocolatier, Joshua at Chocolate Springs.

As the BeeGee's crooned — "Oh, what a night!"

     

BUBBLES

- Dominique Piron Cremant de Bourgogne Brut (Burgundy, France), $15.99 on sale.

Displaying enticing aromas of fresh citrus with some underlying depth of flavor, this Brut has a fantastic palate, finishing with a delicate flavor and dry, long finish.

- Le Colture Prosecco "Fagher Single Vineyard" (Veneto, Italy), $14.99 on sale.

Awarded a Wine Spectator "Smart Buy" and Wine Enthusiast "Editor's Favorite Picks" this wine is dry, precise and pure fruit with finesse that is sure to impress. This is the most elegant dry Prosecco in the U.S. Perfect!

- Le Colture Rose Vino Brut (Veneto, Italy), $14.99 on sale.

This dry rosato Prosecco displays brilliant, perfectly ripe, fresh strawberry fruit, elegant and refined aromatics leading to an extremely pretty palate — delicate, pure and very elegant. It's charming and perfectly balanced with a stunningly dry, impressively long finish.

DRY ROSE

- Rocaliere Tavel Dry Rose (Rhone Valley, France), $14.99 on sale.

One of our favorites from the famous Tavel region. Beautiful, deep-pink hue with classic red berry and stone fruit flavors. An elegant, pure, classically dry rose with wonderful balance of fresh and lovely fruit, soft mouth feel and lovely finish.

- Sonoma Cutrer Rose of Pinot Noir (Sonoma, Calif.), 17.99 on sale.

A 100-percent pinot noir rose from one of the top California producers! Extraordinarily elegant, gorgeous bone-dry rose that is floral with an excellent depth of flavor and a delicate, dry finish.

- Ca di Pesa Tramonto Rosato (Tuscany, Italy), $19.99 on sale.

One hundred percent Sangiovese rose from Chianti in Tuscany — a rare find. This is an extraordinarily elegant, gorgeous Provencal-style rose; yet with more subtle complexities and nuances. Stunning!

WHITES

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- Giovanna Madonia "Neblina" Secco (Emilia-Romagna, Italy), $13.99 on sale.

This wine hails from the beautiful region adjoining Tuscany called Emilia-Romagna. Talented winemaker Giovanna Madonia crafts this extraordinary Italian white wine. Neblina is 100-percent Albana, the principal indigenous white varietal of the region. The bouquet is fresh and floral with notes of peach and hawthorn blossoms, which lead to a wine of lovely texture and an elegant, dry finish.

- Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand), $14.99 on sale

The best, fresh new vintage of our favorite sauvignon blanc from Down Under! Exploding from the glass with lovely, bright aromas and fresh, dry citrus fruit. For lovers of dry, crisp white wine — this is the perfect wine!

- Raeburn Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Sonoma, Calif.), $14.99 on sale

Stunning value from the usually expensive Russian River Valley wine-growing region. Classic, full-bodied Chardonnay with well-integrated, delicate oak notes, dry fruit and a lovely balance. Beautiful!

- Vietti Moscato d'Asti (Piedmont, Italy), $14.99 on sale.

Our favorite "sweet" white! Fantastic aperitif or after-dinner wine! Intense aromas of peaches, rose petals and light spice. It is delicately sweet and "frizzante" with balanced acidity, lovely complexity and a beautiful finish. Perfect accompaniment to Pan-Asian cuisine and lobster, as well as pastry, fruit-based and creamy desserts or blue cheeses.

REDS

- Rickshaw Pinot Noir (California), $14.99 on sale.

Banshee Winery's Rickshaw Pinot Noir is the perfect pinot. Flavors of ripe cherries, black raspberries and spice hints in the finish characterize this deliciously complex, silky red wine.

- Lafage `Narassa' Cotes du Roussillon (Languedoc, France), $16.99 on sale.

Huge, bold and ever so smooth — from wine-making genius Jean Marc Lafage. Black current, cassis, dark chocolate and lovely espresso coffee notes. Complex, dark and sultry — a rich, sensual red perfect for a hearty dinner or to pair with the lovely chocolates you bought for your sweetheart.

- Bodegas Triton Tinto de Toro (Toro, Spain), $16.99 on sale.

The perfect sultry, sexy red wine to enjoy for Valentine's Day and all winter long! A fantastic Spanish tempranillo red with extremely attractive, plush, hedonistic dark fruit and an easy-drinking, soft dry finish!

- Rocaliere Lirac Classique Rouge (Rhone Valley, France), $19.99 on sale.

Lirac is the hidden Rhone Valley red wine gem. Stunning balance, depth and layered dark, sultry complexity! Lovely, blackberry fruit, smoky earth notes with perfect balance on the dry finish. Pretend you're in Paris together.

- Ca'Erto Ripasso della Valpolicella DOCG (Veneto, Italy), $19.99 on sale.

This lovely wine is a "Baby-Amarone," but far less expensive. It's blended from the classic Amarone blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Oseleta. Deep ruby-red in color, this wine shows intense aromas of blackberries and black currants, underscored by aromas of spice pepper and a hint of cherry tobacco notes. On the palate, it is smooth and luscious with well-balanced acidity and a long, seductive finish. Pair with a classic Veneto beef and truffle sauce over hearty risotto.

Jim Nejaime is the owner, importer and wine buyer at SPIRITED Wines in Lenox, who is a passionate wine merchant traveling the world to find great wines since 1979.


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