Valentine’s Day is all about the time we spend together. So when it comes to picking out a wine for dinner, you’ll want something that encourages conversation, not contemplation. With that in mind, we asked the purveyors of three notable wine stores to share a favorite bottle that won’t break the bank. Can’t find their picks? Dial in on a grape or region and ask someone at your local wine store to point you in the right direction. You’ll do just fine.
No Fine Print Cabernet Sauvignon
“One of my favorite new go-to bottles, especially for easy drinking, is a new wine from friends in the wine and music biz. It has everything you want out of a juicy Cabernet — bold, full-flavored, powerful, quality — but none of the things that you don’t, like a high price tag. Whether you’re planning to grill up a nice steak, order some Shake Shack or Netflix and chill, this would fit the bill quite nicely.” — Dustin Wilson, Verve Wine
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Region: California, USA
Distillerie Cazottes Marcotte
“Laurent Cazottes is best known for his Eaux de Vie but he also makes rustic, highly-drinkable table wines. His vineyards are worked biodynamically, including the Duras and Braucol that are in his cuvée Marcotte. We opened a bottle just a few days ago and it felt like the perfect cold-night red; savory, plumy core with just a little tang. It needs no food but seems very versatile — especially good with anything coming out of an oven.” — Orenda and Peter Hale, Maine & Loire
Grapes: Braucol, Duras
Region: Tarn, France
Gaspard Touraine Sauvignon Blanc
“Crisp white wine made from organic grapes grown around the northern French city of Tours. Loire Valley Sauvignon tends to be drier and less overtly grapefruity than its New Zealand counterpart. With herbal notes of lemon verbena and acacia, [this] is an example of how subtle restraint can allow a wine to show more complexity.” — Tristen Gild, Kingston Wine Co.
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Loire Valley, France