“Where there is no wine there is no love.”
Ahhh, romance. What do you think of when you think of romance? You might picture your sweetheart and a nice bottle of wine. After all, wine is the elixir of love. And, to make it even more special, Valentine’s Day this year falls on a Friday.
Why is wine and romance a thing?
Over the years, there have been numerous studies attempting to show a correlation between drinking wine and romance. Some of the studies centered on identifying what smells activate the libido. These studies found that many of the aromas found in wine are the aromas that turn us on. Certain scents in wine mimic those of human pheromones, the arousal-stimulating chemical.
Not too surprising, women and men respond sensually to different smells. Women tend to be aroused by musky, earthy, woody, licorice and cherry aromas. Men tend to be aroused by lavender, caramel, butter, orange, licorice, baking spice and vanilla.
These blended thoughts support our theory that the perfect bottle of wine for enhancing romantic love is one chosen from the wine cellar after being impeccably aged—say in a traditional or modern wine cellar design; by Fred Tregaskis and Summit Wine Cellars, with cutting-edge climate control from Cool Cellars.
Connoisseurs of wine and romance who wisely wait for fine wines to mature in the wine cellar are able to present that special someone—a wife, husband, soul mate or even promising first date—with a first sip so magical it will steal his or her heart, in terms of both wine preferences and relationship romance.
Most of the stories online offer time-tested advice to pop the cork on a bottle of Champagne, the wine of love, toasts and celebrations. Others present lists of delicious wines from the wine cellar that fit the romance bill simply because their attributes, like value, heritage, or top ratings, qualify them for any type of list recommending wines.
There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and such lists can be very useful.
For its list of top 25 Valentine’s Day wines last year, Town and Country Magazine turned to master sommeliers and wine experts for recommendations. The top two wines were 2008 Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs led the list, followed by Mionetto’s organic version of its Prosecco. Sparkling wines filled the first seven spots, and perhaps the most intriguing choice in the top 10 was 2016 Chateau La Nerthe Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, which Wine.com Director of Education Gwendolyn Osborn called “a perfect cold-weather snuggle-up white wine, with a complex bouquet of stone fruits and notes of exotic spice.”
As Valentine’s Day 2020 gets closer, the new lists that will be popping up online are worth a look, and those seeking inspiration will also find it indirectly in any list of wine recommendations from a trusted source. For example, The Washington Post’s recent 12 best bargain wines of the year, culled from a year’s worth of wines praised for their value quotient no matter the price point, is filled with sexy choices—and the column’s introductory text also gives a shout out to “the Charles Orban Brut Rosé Champagne, a stellar bubbly for Valentine’s Day.”
We buy and enjoy wines recommended by experts, wine industry colleagues, wine shop owners, and friends, but when it comes to wine and romance, we have come to appreciate through long and happy experience the virtues of the cellar selection method.
On a cold winter’s night—on Valentine’s Day or any other evening—with candles lit, a fire crackling in the hearth and some wonderful food on the table, nothing enhances romance more deeply than enjoying a special wine that has been aged to perfection.
It’s not about how much the wine costs, its pedigree, or critics’ ratings. Some or all of those factors are a given for any wine worthy of being tucked away in the wine cellar, but we believe a bottle sourced from the cellar will add to the romance because of all the ways it’s like love poetry in a bottle.
Red, white or sparkling, the wine chosen will be more delicious, nuanced, complex, and sublime than any recent vintage you picked up that afternoon. Moreover, your cellar selection will inspire you to offer a type of narrative wine poetry through telling its story—how you first tasted it with the winemaker at the vineyard in Tuscany, or Burgundy, and how you and your partner in romance should plan a trip to explore the region. Check out the wines reviewed by Fred Tregaskis with his NPR wine show “A Moment in Wine”.
Even more romantic is choosing that evening’s special bottle from the wine cellar together, while spending time admiring the beautiful labels and distinguished vintages, planning future evenings around particular bottles, and building anticipation for the flavors and experience about to be enjoyed.
There’s one last element worth mentioning, which is also sure to surface online again as Valentine’s Day approaches. Call it the Lake Effect, referring to the late Dr. Max Lake of Lake’s Folly vineyard in Australia, who researched the qualities of wine that gives it an aphrodisiacal effect.
“His research focused, mostly, on the aphrodisiac qualities in certain wine aromas—the fragrance of blackberry and musk built into many a Shiraz, the hint of truffle that lingers in a great Bordeaux nose, the sweaty pheromone notes found in top quality Riesling,” says a 2015 Cottages & Gardens story on Valentine’s Day wines. “Dr. Lake discovered that drinking oak-aged Cabernet Sauvignon can perfume the whole body in a cedar and sandalwood scent, released through the skin, he believed, when sexual attraction kicks in.”
The Daily Meal chimed in with a 2016 Valentine’s Day wines story, saying, “That’s right, if you choose correctly, a swirl of the wine in your glass just might serve as a form of foreplay. In general, Lake recommended looking for red wines with heavy, earthy notes like violets, leather, tobacco, black truffle, cedar and spice. For whites, you want ones that offer feral, sweaty notes — yes, sweat can taste delicious! — and those of citrus, white flowers, bread dough or freshly baked bread, brie cheese, petrol or chalk.”
The rest, as they say, is up to you.
Fred Tregaskis and Summit Wine Cellars, LLC, have created dramatic custom wine cellars for clients throughout the world, from Maine to California, and Bangalore to Buenos Aries.
Summit Wine Cellars has its own dedicated manufacturing facility in Connecticut, where expert craftsmen fabricate all the components—in wood, metal, glass and other materials. Those bespoke components of each unique cellar are shipped to each cellar location and assembled there by Summit Wine Cellars, before the final flourishes and finishing touches are added.
“I think it’s important that the wine cellar be fun because wine itself is fun. It should be generous and big and a cool place to go hangout,” says Tregaskis. “It’s the wine that’s the star of the show. I’m really making a pedestal for the wine.”
To learn more about Summit Wine Cellars, LLC and the wine cellar design process, contact Summit Wine Cellars by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 203-916-1664. Make sure to see the Portfolio page for examples of Summit’s traditional and modern wine cellar design.