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Wines with heart win hearts

Recommended choices for Valentine's Day include Alsace Hugel

Recommended choices for Valentine's Day include Alsace Hugel Cuvee Les Amours, left, and Renato Ratti Marcenasco. Photo Credit: Handouts

For your Valentines, here are wines with heart.

SOMETHING NEW 2007 Kendall-Jackson Avant ($14) - hints of tropical fruit, citrus, pear in a frisky chardonnay that demands little and gives plenty. Time for an indoor picnic.

SOMETHING VERY NEW 2010 Chasing Venus Sauvignon Blanc ($16) - zesty New Zealander named for the Roman love goddess. Uncomplicated and undemanding, straightforward and screw-capped. Find a beach.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? 2008 Hugel "Cuvée Les Amours" Pinot Blanc ($17; $11, 375-ml) - reliable, versatile, subtle, refreshing Alsatian white that's very easy to love.

CALIFORNIA DREAMS 2008 JVineyards Chardonnay ($28) - a delight from the Russian River Valley, full of peaches and cream, nuts and spices. A charmer, expressive and approachable. Who's  making  the lobster?

THAT'S AMORE 2006 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco ($50) - a dark, soulful beauty, with a spark of cherry and raspberry, firm structure, and many years ahead of it.

CHERIE 2007 Joseph Drouhin Charmes-Chambertin ($153) - ruby-red and seductive, here's a round and generous pinot noir, open, confident and one that will get better as the years go by.

BIG LOVE 2006 Shafer Hillside Select ($215) - elegant cabernet sauvignon from the outstanding Napa producer. Loaded with black fruit. Ideal with red meat, game, true love.


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