As an Italian, the original Saint Valentine no doubt understood the power of food and drink to imbue positive emotions and bond people together. In preparation for Valentine’s Day we’re gathered together some of the best food and drink pairings, each guaranteed to enhance its partner.
Let’s start with a classic Valentine’s gift — Chocolate. A fine chocolate will wrap the inside of the mouth in a decadent blanket. Making some drinks lose their character and strip away subtle flavours.
Cognac is the ideal chocolate pairing. The deeper flavours of this rich spirit coming through. Choose one like the Hine Antique XO and let the spices and vanilla work their magic on you, and your partner’s, tongues.
Whatever the truth behind oyster’s famed aphrodisiac qualities, there’s no doubting their clean, briny, seaside taste. The mineral qualities of the mollusc are best highlighted by crisp, palate cleansing, qualities.
A tender night out with a perfectly cooked steak is the way to a meat-lover’s heart.
Savour the taste for longer with a deep red wine with earthy fruit flavours.
Wolf Bass Cabernet Sauvignon ticks all the right boxes for pairing with steak. The deep plum and blackberry flavours are countered with a tinge of Cabernet freshness, giving the steak room on the palate.
A Valentine’s meal doesn’t have to be extravagant. Swap the posh night out for a cuddly curry at the local Indian, or even a takeaway on the sofa, and concentrate on quality time spent together.
Indian spices need tempering with something bubbly and crisp, and a well-scented gin and tonic is the perfect solution, especially given the spirit’s Indian adventures on its way to being a current British institution.
Strawberries and cream
Without dessert there is no meal (for me at least) and strawberries with cream (or ice cream) are a light way to finish the evening whilst the main course settles. And a great excuse to share a bowl of something sweet together.
For drinks, the best accompaniments are fruit liquors, where the different fruit flavours mix together. Strawberries and orange go together surprisingly well, making Cointreau a clear choice. For something more unusual try Amarula Cream Liqueur, with its complex marula fruit flavours.