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Wine Style

‘Must Love Wine’ and Other Requirements for Dating a Wine Pro

When a perfect pairing proves elusive in dating — and wine

Regine T Rousseau By March 18, 2022
photo illustration of Regine T. Rousseau
Photo Illustration by Pix, background Illustration by beastfromeast/iStock.

Finding love is hard. 

I try to stay optimistic, but if I can be vulnerable here, I think Cupid may be conspiring against me. 

I am a city girl and seem to only attract men who live and want to stay in the suburbs. 

I am a wine lover and can’t seem to meet a man who loves wine as much as I do. One of the best parts of a relationship is the two of us curling up with a great bottle of wine. Am I asking for too much? 

Like the time I was in a new relationship. Everything seemed to be going well, until one evening, we had dinner with another couple, Jade and John. I brought a bottle of Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne to share. Each sip of Champagne elevated Jade, John, and me to another dimension. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the complexity, the baked pie crust notes, and the lively berry flavors of the wine. We ascended toward heaven to join the Champagne angels. A few sips from paradise, my soon-to-be-ex knocked us back to earth with four cutting words, “I don’t like Champagne.”

Is that possible?

The room fell silent. Jade and John looked at me, then looked at him, then at the bottle of Champagne, and then back at him and me. They were too stunned to speak. “I don’t like Champagne.” Was he serious, or was he picking a fight? Could I love a man who doesn’t love Champagne? 

I believe in love. I want love, so I tried to make it work. 

But every time he said, “I love you,”’ I heard, “I don’t love Champagne.”

When he said, “Let’s go out to dinner,” I heard, “I don’t love Champagne.” 

My love dried up like Corvina grapes on the drying racks, before turning into Amarone wine. 

Maturing like wine

Recently, Facebook reminded me that this dinner happened seven years ago. I am still single. But, dear reader, I am happy to announce that I have matured a bit since then. “Must love wine” is still a requirement for my life partner, but today I have learned to compromise.

I had a brunch date recently, and we both ordered chicken and waffles. Off to a good start, I thought and heard wedding bells. When I suggested a bottle of Raventós i Blanc 2018 De Nit Rosé Cava to pair with our meal, he responded, “I only drink red wine.” 

Committed to finding true love, I smiled and ordered a bottle of Morgon wine, a Cru Beaujolais. Morgon with chicken and waffles? You may be thinking, the maple syrup would kill the wine. Agreed, and who needs the sugar? So I ate without syrup. The bright cherry fruit and herbs from the wine were a nice complement to the savory salty chicken and waffle. An unlikely pairing, but it made way for me to potentially find my perfect pairing. 

At this point, you know that I drink and tell. So here’s the tea on Bachelor Number 265: We’ve shared a few more bottles since our brunch date. I imagine we will share a few more, but alas the love of wine hasn’t been enough to seal the deal. Yet.

5 wines to spark romance:

bottle of Raventos i Blanc Brut Rose de Nit 2018

Raventós i Blanc De Nit Rosé 2018

They say finance is one of the biggest obstacles to a long-lasting relationship. This budget-friendly alternative to Champagne is something any couple can agree on. Made in the traditional method with a blend of 40% Xarel-lo, 34% Macabeo, 19% Parellada, and 7% Monastrell, at around $26, this sparkling wine won’t break the bank or cause a breakup. There’s a lot to love about this wine, from the biodynamically farmed vineyards to the pale pink rose color, and intense flavors of citrus fruit, pears, and ripe apples. 

bottle of Champagne Billecart Salmon NV Brut Rosé

Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut Rosé NV

This Champagne screams, “I am in the mood for love.” The wine is a pale rose gold color that immediately sets the vibe for romance. A blend of 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 30% Meunier. On the nose, there’s fresh raspberries and strawberries. The palate is clean and elegant with raspberry pie, orange peel, and strawberries. 

bottle of Pascal Jolivet Sancerre Sauvignon Blanc 2020

Pascal Jolivet Loire Valley Sancerre 2020

It’s important to learn to live with each other’s style preferences. You like fruit forward, he likes racy wines with high acid. You like zesty and refreshing. He likes dry wines with notes of green apples. You’re not that different. The Pascal Jolivet Sancerre, made of 100% Sauvignon Blanc, is an enticing balance of orchard and citrus fruit that creates a bridge between seemingly incompatible palates. Pucker up and enjoy this trilling wine.

bottle of Marcel Lapierre Morgon

Marcel Lapierre Morgon 2020

The most robust of the 10 Cru Beaujolais, Morgon is the perfect “meet you in the middle” wine. This 100% Gamay, from a famed winemaker, is medium-bodied with flavors of bright cherries, violets, and fresh herbs. The wine is fresh, silky, and flexible enough to please a range of palates and pair with a variety of foods.

bottle of Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2016

If you’re on a date or in a relationship with someone who doesn’t like this wine, counseling is in order! A blend of 80% Corvina Veronese, 15% Rondinella, and 5% Oseleta, the wine is deep, rich, juicy, intense, and feels like velvet sliding on the tongue. Complex and unforgettable with notes of sweet dried cherries, plum, chocolate, and spices.

Author and media personality Regine T. Rousseau is the founder of Shall We Wine.