Is your Valentine cool? Hot? Sweet? Still? Sparkling? There's a wine for her or him.
Ice wine is one of winter's sweetest gifts. It's made from frozen grapes. The dehydrated grapes lead to intense, lush wine. An excellent choice: the 2007 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine ($62, 375-ml bottle), from Canada's Niagara Peninsula. It's creamy, with hints of candied fruit. The balanced wine, best served slightly chilled, also has fine acidity. From the same region comes the 2008 Jackson-Triggs Proprietors Reserve Vidal Icewine ($30, 187-ml bottle), an aromatic, lively choice with tropical fruit notes. Serve it chilled, too.
In the still of the night: the subtle, tangy, aptly named 2009 Hugel et Fils Pinot Blanc "Cuvee Les Amours" ($16), a charming, versatile Alsatian white. More straightforward: the 2010 Michael David 7 Deadly Zins ($16), a fruity, peppery blend of zinfandels from seven vineyards. There's even a hint of chocolate. In a darker, more assertive, get-it-on style from Michael David comes its 2010 LUST Zinfandel ($59), loaded with spice, cherry, chocolate.
For a more easygoing, playful approach, try the 2010 Beni di Batasiolo Dolcetto ($15), the dry, inviting, drink-now "little sweet one;" and the sangiovese-driven, versatile and very satisfying 2009 Rosso di Casanova di Neri ($21).