casa del vino

Where wine is on the table everyday

Day 167: Love is in the Air . . .

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Ruffino Riserva

So, here we are – the day for wine, chocolate and roses . . . among other wonderful gifts we shower each other with to show our love.  Love comes in so many shapes and forms – we love our spouses, our children, our parents, our siblings, our faith, our friends, our pets – just to name a few.  Sometimes, we mistake love for other things – like something we really like to eat or drink, or a movie or book that we really like.  It can be a tough one, especially if we try to wrap all up into just one day a year.  Good friends tell us that “it’s Valentine’s Day every day at our house.”  Now, that’s what we’re talking about – every day should be a celebration of love.  Why not make every day special and never let a day go by that you don’t say those three simple words to those who mean so much to you – yeppers, we mean – I LOVE YOU – and say it like you mean it, because one day you won’t be able to say it because that person will be gone.  So, don’t waste a minute – say it anyway you want, but say it.  Could be a “Chow Mein”, a “As you wish” or perhaps another way that conveys the message you want to express.  Just Do It!

We wanted to try and do a quick recap of why there is even a St. Valentine’s Day – other than to improve the stock of Hallmark.  So out we went to the web and found one of the simpliest answers on (actually, more than we needed to know, but here goes).

“Every February we celebrate Valentine’s Day by giving flowers, candy and cards to those we love. We do this in honor of Saint Valentine. You may be wondering, “Who is St. Valentine”? Time to brush up on your Valentine’s history!  Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served during third century Rome. There was an Emperor at that time by the name of Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those that were married. With this thought in mind he outlawed marriage for young men in hopes of building a stronger military base. Supposedly, Valentine, decided this decree just wasn’t fair and chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor Claudius II found out about Valentine’s actions he had him put to death.

Another legend has it that Valentine was an imprisoned man who fell in love with his jailor’s daughter. Before he was put to death he sent the first ‘valentine’ himself when he wrote her a letter and signed it ‘Your Valentine’, words still used on cards today.

Perhaps we’ll never know the true identity and story behind the man named St. Valentine, but this much is for sure…February has been the month to celebrate love for a long time, dating clear back to the Middle Ages. In fact, Valentines ranks second only to Christmas in number of greeting cards sent.  Another valentine gentleman you may be wondering about is Cupid (Latin cupido, “desire”). In Roman mythology Cupid is the son of Venus, goddess of love. His counterpart in Greek mythology is Eros, god of love. Cupid is often said to be a mischievous boy who goes around wounding both gods and humans with his arrows, causing them to fall in love.”

Wow – who knew?  Tonight we enjoyed a 2008 Ruffino Riserva Ducale Classico Chianti with Bill/Dad – how perfect, to enjoy a bottle of passionate, delicious red wine from Italy on Valentine’s Day! The first thing that captured us was the intense, ruby red color of the wine.  The nose on our Riserva Ducale showed an outstanding elegance, characterized by flowery and fruity notes. Violets, cherries, wild berries and plums meet with spicy hints of tobacco and white pepper grains, followed by elegant scents of red roses.  Like we said, a perfect wine to celebrate the day, and what made it even better was a Caesar Salad and homemade spaghetti with fresh bread for dinner.  The wine and the food were meant for each other.  As we tasted the wine, we got notes of fresh fruit and gentle tannins.  The tasting is even better on the finish; it was incredibly fresh with a nice mineral quality to it, and a finish that was long and flavorful–somewhat enhanced by hints of rosemary and intensified with the food pairing.  All in all a very good wine and while a little out of our normal price zone, you can typically find this wine for less than $30 a bottle.  Previous vintages of this wine have been rated as high as 90 points, this vintage is rated in the mid-to-upper 80’s.  You’ll get your money’s worth and more from this wine.

So as the holiday of love winds down, we hope that you’re enjoying or have enjoyed your favorite wine responsibly and remember to recycle whenever possible – and told someone you care about that you love them.



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