Need a quick Valentine's Day idea? Whether your single, hitting up a fun night with the girls, or having a romantic evening with your honey, a classic romantic movie, some wine, and chocolate goes a long way! Here are a list of my Top 5 Romantic Movies to match with some wines and chocolate. (The movies are not listed in any particular order. Choose your favorite or the movie that matches your mood (or your dates mood) and have a happy February 14th... even if your dreading it! After all, it's a holiday and it should be fun!) Can't you smell the love in the air?
1) Roman Holiday with Chocolate Gelato (or Ice Cream) and a glass of Chianti
This is the perfect movie for a Valentine's Day with all your girlfriends or if you are starting a new, fun relationship. The movie is light, fun, exciting, and shows you some real exciting places in Italy. I have to admit that I was skeptical about this film, but when I watched it, I really enjoyed it. It makes the perfect date night!
Pair this movie with some dark chocolate ice cream or gelato if you can find it. :) A nice glass of Chianti to celebrate the Italian theme of this movie, and if you really want to impress - have an Italian meal for dinner! A nice dish of your basic spaghetti or lasagna will do the trick! What a fun evening...
Chianti's - Take these names to your local wine retailer, Total Wine store, or grocery store:
Bellini Sangiovese ($7)
Castello Del Trebbio Chianti ($10)
Via Firenze Chianti ($6)
2) The Notebook with Chocolate Covered Strawberries and a glass of Fruit Wine
Every guy I know hates this movie, but it just makes girls' hearts melt to think that their long-lost love is out there waiting for them and will eternally love them. Definitely get set for some tears - I don't know many girls that make it through this without crying. But it's the perfect moment to move in and be sweet.
I picked some chocolate covered strawberries for this movie, as it is set "out in the country." Do white chocolate and dark chocolate to match nicely with some fruit wine. You'll get a nice cozy, country setting for a sweet city vs. country love kind of movie.
Razz Bear Ease ($12)
Semi-Dry Blueberry ($12)
Strawberry Riesling ($13)
Fruit Wines from Horton ($12)
3) Casablanca with Dark Chocolate from various countries paired with a glass of Port
Probably my favorite movie of all time, Casablanca is twisted with romance, action, and a war of time. It features one of the most famous lines of all times, and is sure to impress the girls that like to think about love as a reality - not all hugs and kisses, but tough choices and broken hearts.
I've paired this movie with dark chocolates, especially if you can find a series of chocolate with their region on them. Trader Joe's used to sell a package of 10 different dark chocolates from 10 different countries (as chocolate tastes different depending on where it is grown... like wine). Dark chocolate matches well with ports, and I'm sure that you can find a number of them in your local wine store. Remember that ruby ports are fruiter than tawnies. Tawny ports carry more almond, sherry-like characteristics. Some of your local wineries may also carry their own version of a port. Give it a try - make your girl think about the effort you put into this Valentine's Day. :)
4) When Harry Met Sally... with Cheesecake with Chocolate Sauce (on the side) and a glass of Riesling
What's funny is that this is not one of my favorite movies, but when I asked "Johnny Depp" what he considered the most romantic movie of all time, When Harry Met Sally... was the first on his list. (Side note: mine was Casablanca.) I think I've always found this movie frustrating because it shows how complicated relationships can be between men and women... and just how long it usually takes before a man realizes how much he loves a woman... and how much he needs her... and it is usually when the woman finds someone else! See? Frustrating!
But... that being said, it is a funny movie - light hearted, definitely pinpoints your modern day relationship, and it's a movie that both men and women usually enjoy. The movie is well known for Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan's iconic chemistry and the best impression of a fake orgasm in public. Soooo... that being said... The food that matches for this is definitely plain cheesecake with chocolate sauce on the side. (When you watch the movie, you'll see why.) Add some excitement by adding some fruits or other sauces... always on the side. You and your date (or Valentine's Day Party Group) can pick and choose what to add to your piece of cheesecake. I like matching cheesecake with Rieslings (although ice wines/Eiswein is also recommended). Riesling is a fun variety - comes dry, semi-sweet/off-dry, or sweet. It may not taste as good with the chocolate, but you can always sip it after you finish your piece of cheesecake... with all the drippings on the side.
Look for some NY Rieslings - they are known for that variety
Fall back plan: Columbia Crest Riesling ($13)
Semillon Ice Wine ($28)
NY Wineries that produce an Ice Wine: Brotherhood, Casa Larga, Fulkerson (love their wine), Heron Hill, Hunt Country, Johnson Estate, Leonard Oakes Estate, Mazza-Chautauqua Cellars, and Sheldrake Point
5) Pretty Woman with Sea Salted Caramels and a glass of Chardonnay
(Trust me guys, the last movie I picked could've been a lot worse... Did you ever see Gone With the Wind? Did you want to?) Pretty Woman is the modern day Cinderella story. What girl doesn't want to be a prostitute who finds a billionaire that falls madly in love with her? (See... every girl's dream. Hahaha.) But in all seriousness, it's a great movie for a girls' night, it's funny, and Richard Gere is the perfect sap-of-a-guy that every woman loves to fall for. I had to include him in my Valentine's list! (And honestly, who doesn't love Julia Roberts?)
I picked Sea Salted Caramels for this movie (with or without chocolate - your choice) and a nice glass of Chardonnay. The caramels are just sophisticated enough that it would've been a new experience for Vivian to have never tried until she met Edward. And what matches with caramel? Well, Chardonnay of course! Spice up those wine glasses with some gem wine charms, and you'll feel like you're living in Edward's hotel room.
If you have a request for any movie (after all there are many romantic movies out there) please leave me a comment and I'll respond with what I'd pair with it. After all - your Valentine's Day should be special. :)