Vino File: Opposites attract

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

You might not agree on everything. But you can make sure you do agree on wine this Valentine's Day by selecting a sip that bridges the gap between red and white wine lovers.

"Lovers" is what this holiday is all about, after all.

Constance Begue, wine department manager at The Hills Market in Worthington, is used to trying to please two palates when customers come looking for a bottle that satisfies varying tastes.

"It's always kind of a balance. Because, typically, you're not coming in to get a bottle to drink yourself," she said.

Below are her suggestions, which include a sparkling rose that might be worth the splurge for a special Valentine. -Brittany Kress

Schramsberg Brut rose (2005)

Region: Calistoga, California

Cost: $45

Why it works for conflicting tastes: A lighter wine with a little more body

Flavors: Pinot noir and chardonnay, with raspberry, strawberry and toasty notes

Pairs well with: Cheeses, chocolate desserts, creme brulee

Constance Begue's advice: "Even red-wine drinkers respond to the weight of this wine. And because pinot noir grapes get so much skin contact with the juice, it's not as light as a white."

First Drop First Love (2007)

Region: Southeast Australia

Cost: $10

Why it works for conflicting tastes: Although it's not sweet, it's pretty fruity

Flavors: Semillon, Riesling and Arneis are lively, fun and full of fruit

Pairs well with: Seafood, shellfish and chicken dishes - or enjoy it solo

Constance Begue's advice: "I think they call it 'fruit salad in a bottle' on the label, which I love. It still has a fair amount of acid, so that balances out the fruitiness."

Foris late harvest Muscat (2007)

Region: Oregon

Cost: $14

Why it works for conflicting tastes: "The sweet taste is balanced by a strong acidity."

Flavors: Sweet citrus - grapefruit, apple, pear - and some pine, with a refreshing acidity

Pairs well with: Blue cheese, walnuts and honey

Constance Begue's advice: "A pairing like that might open up somebody's mind who says they don't like sweet wines. There's no way you can't like it. I guarantee it."