Everyone wants to date a wine-savvy romeo, and this is especially true on Valentine’s Day. That’s why picking the right restaurant, a popular dish and the most sensual wine to pair with it is monumental. If you’re not as well schooled in food and wine pairing, not to worry; we’ve done the work for you by creating a trio of romantic packages. A few footnotes: 1) We picked the following restaurants because together they offer a broad range of authentic dishes, as well as geographic diversity in the county. 2) Since wine lists are subject to change, we’re offering suggestions as to the varietal. 3) If you can’t snag a reservation right on Valentine’s Day, simply pick another day for your romantic outing. Wine-savvy romeos will still be revered.
Handline Coastal California Cuisine
This spot celebrates seafood and boasts it offers some of the freshest on the coast. The Hog Island Sweetwater Oysters, at $2.50 a pop, are so popular here you can trust they’ll be on the menu. Smart wine picks to pair with oysters include sparklers, Chablis and sancerre. (935 Gravenstein Ave., Sebastopol, 707-827-3744, handline.com)
The Brass Rabbit
This restaurant on the Healdsburg Plaza specializes in French comfort food, and one of the most popular items on the menu is the Devil’s Gulch Rabbit Pot Pie at $27. Tasty pairings for this dish include full-bodied pinot noirs, syrahs and zinfandels. Meanwhile the signature dish on Saturday nights is the Boeuf Bourguignon at $29, and pinot noir is definitely the best choice here. (109 Plaza St. Healdsburg, 707-473-8580, thebrassrabbithealdsburg.com)
This new restaurant has a menu that embraces both old world and new world dishes. While it has an eclectic menu, the hands down favorite appears to be Wiener Schnitzel, which is German for “Viennese cutlet.” at $24. The most refreshing wines to pair with this $24 dish include riesling, grüner veltliner and sauvignon blanc. (8757 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor, 707-838-5100, tiszabistro.com)
Wine writer Peg Melnik can be reached at 707-521-5310 or firstname.lastname@example.org.