I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to sip some delicious spirits with equally delicious chocolates. Today, I'll offer a few tips to help you make it work.
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Here are 10 cocktail recipes to get you inspired this Valentine's Day, whether you're looking for a deliciously bitter beverage for a big group get-together or an elegant sparkling drink for sipping with one special someone.
We asked 13 top sommeliers from around the country for their Valentine's Day wine advice: what to order, how to choose a wine that will go with a romantic meal, from oyster start to chocolatey finish. Check out the slideshow for their advice, from favorite Champagnes to budget recommendations.
What better way to woo your sweetest than a multi-course meal paired with beer? Skip the restaurant prix fixe scams and get cozy at home, cooking an aphrodiasical dinner together and sipping some delicious beer parings alongside each dish.
For once and for all, let me say it loud and clear: dry red wine and chocolate do not go together. Why would someone lie to you and try to convince you that this is something you should enjoy? Why would the powers that be—the red-wine pushers and the chocolate coercers—set you up for such flavor failure, particularly around Valentine's Day when presumably you want to impress the object of your affections? I don't know. But I'm here to help.
Want to wow your Valentine this year? Present them with a little lovin' first thing in the morning by learning how to pour a heart into their morning cup. Check out the slideshow for step-by-step instructions on crafting this basic latte art.
As a general rule, when pairing beer with chocolates, you want to go rich and go malty. The toast, roast, caramel, and chocolate flavors of malt-forward beers are a perfect match for the decadent creaminess of truffles or the bitter bite of high-cocoa chocolate. Tart fruit lambics are also fun partners for chocolate treats: they beautiful balance the richness of creamy ganache fillings. But don't ignore the bitter brews completely: roasty beers can work the way the coffee does with sweets, and in combination with the right dessert, a balanced IPA can be just the thing to make your tastebuds swoon.
Pretty pink wine can definitely enhance a romantic evening. But it's a challenge to find good-value bottles: sparkling rosé is almost always more expensive than its paler counterpart. Here are a few of our favorite pink sparkling wines—Cremant, Cava, and Champagne.
When I see the words "chocolate cocktail" or "chocolate martini" on a menu, I'll often launch into a (ok, yeah, obnoxious) tirade against hiding the taste of liquor in cocktails and serving 1,500-calorie, alcoholic sugar bombs topped with whipped cream. Then, once I stop emitting sparks, I'll order one anyway. I love a spiked chocolate milkshake like it's family.
We tried 23 different bottles to figure out which nonvintage Champagnes tasted best. What's the best value in this region of fancy bubbly? Here's what we found.
Even if you're not a big fan of bubbly, you can still raise a glass on Valentine's Day. These two cocktails will do the trick, whether you're snuggling with your sweetheart or gathering a group of friends for dinner, getting engaged or smashing a giant heart-shaped pinata with a baseball bat, Jennifer Garner-style.
Chocolate and beer? Together? It may sound like a conspiracy on the part of beer-loving-guys to take back Valentine's Day, but take it from this former skeptic: Chocolate and beer can be an incredible pairing.