Valentine's Day has always been a cross and a delight for each and every one of us, even if we have been trained since we were kids to say that we don't care or that it is just the usual consumerist commanded holiday. Of course, nothing could be truer... just like 'Women's Day' or 'Grandparents' Day' or 'Mother's Day' or 'Father's Day'... and many others. Valentine's Day, when you love and live a happy and fulfilling couple, should be all year round. Worse I feel, for women, at the idea of the longed-for preparation for the night of love: beautician, waxing, make-up, wigs... no but I say, how do you normally present yourself to your man? - Implying that you present yourself, of course! - Do you have hair and neglect contests? 🤔 Well, it is also true that there are men in their thirties with whom you have to fight to get them to comb their hair, or at least wash it... but I remain profoundly convinced that we sommeliers and winelovers are a people of at least above-average cleanliness and grooming! Or what the heck do we put our noses into our glasses for? 😅 Having said that, celebrating Valentine's Day when you are in a couple is always a pleasure... also because after all, it is a good excuse to indulge in romance of all kinds and, better still, to uncorking a big bottle. In the hope of having a partner who can appreciate it of course! 😍 And then I'll bet: dear my winelovers (man or woman is indifferent), even if you say you don't give a damn about Valentine's Day in my opinion, a romantic surprise will make you very, very happy... and you'll gloat for the whole following week! Or maybe the month! So how about setting a good example and choose one from these 3 Valentine's Day ideas for her or him? 🤩

Valentine's Day 2019/idea 1: Intimate and luxurious dinner at home with oysters, muscadet and crudités by I Love Oyster

We can also go to Igles Corelli at dinner (by the way, have you already read my article on the second stage of Stelle & Calici?)but for me cooking together in the privacy of one's own home is absolutely unsurpassed. A good jazz background, top-quality ingredients, soft lighting, a candle and, of course, a special wine. But at least for Valentine's Day, how about not cooking anything and letting yourself be pampered by I Love Oyster? After all, after cooking, there are always pots and pans to wash... do you want to put the convenience of having only 2 plates, 2 glasses and 2 pairs of cutlery? After-dinner time is better spent doing something else... (this is always the case, not just on Valentine's Day!) All fish sold by I Love Oyster is absolutely safe: it is blast chilled for at least 12 hours at a temperature of -60°C in order to kill all harmful microorganisms and keep the organoleptic qualities intact.

Oyster Passion is the name of this wonderful Plateau dedicated to lovers with fresh raw fish ready to be eaten! Follow this link for receive in the comfort of your own home on Thursday 14 February: 12 Fine de Clair oysters, 2 Mazara red prawns, 2 scampi, 120 g of amberjack tartare, 120 g of tuna tartare and one bottle of Cuvée de l'Academie! Then I recommend you also add 2 Argentine prawn tails (€ 1.80/each) and some slice of salmon how I did it! I seasoned the amberjack tartare with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil with chilli, a pinch of whole wheat salt and dill, while in the tuna tartare I only put a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil from Taggiasca olives and some lemon thyme. Both were delicious, but the fragrance of the amberjack tartare thrilled me!

If, like me, you are lucky enough to have a boyfriend who pours you a bottle of Champagne Philipponat Blanc de noirs 2009... well the Muscadet Cuvée de l'Academie 2017 you can safely drink at another time! Let's be clear, it's not bad at all... it's delicate and with a fair amount of minerality. But Champagne gentlemen is Champagne... and I count this one in a shortlist of the 3 best I've drunk so far (but I'll probably change my mind in 12 days... and I still won't tell you why!). I look pretty satisfied though, don't you think?

Harvest 2009. Draught May 2010. Disgorgement March 2016. Intense gold colour with a creamy, velvety perlage. On the nose, splendid and elegant hints of exotic fruit, white pepper, fresh chocolate, pipe tobacco and raspberry jam. In the mouth it has a great structure supported by good acidity, a delicate softness and excellent length. Despite this, it is not cloying or heavy: we finished the bottle without even realising it! (And I think that if there was another one, at least another goblet each would go quietly. You can find it in the Millésima online shop HERE!


Valentine's Day 2019/idea 2: Romantic weekend in Tuscany between Montepulciano and Montalcino

During the week of Valentine's Day, two unmissable events for winelovers are celebrated in beautiful Tuscany: thepreview of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano e Welcome Brunello! I know that this year Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday, but how about setting off with your better half in the morning to visit a few wineries in Montepulciano and then move on to Montalcino between Friday and Saturday? Besides, Montepulciano and Montalcino are two beautiful towns in the province of Siena, where you can enjoy delicious food and wine, nature, postcard landscapes, art, spas... how can you not be tempted? In fact, I already had a romantic lunch and dinner on Saturday just past thanks to I Love Ostrica I am ready to leave for Tuscany, as a guest of the Carpineto winery, for an armoured vertical of Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva from 1989 to the present day! I can't wait to tell you all about my drinking... remember to follow my hashtags on instagram: #chiarabastabere e #perlagesuite! 😅

For me, a surprise weekend is one of the best gifts you can receive! Just tell your other half that you are going away and tell him to pack a trolley with the essentials. Choose a destination he or she might like, of course including at least one extraordinary wine tasting, a visit to a historic wine cellar, possibly with an interesting museum attached, a gourmet dinner and a room with a hot tub. Ask the hotel or B&B to prepare your room with rose petals and candles, bring your best bottle from home to drink during your bath... and experience a night of magic! ❤ We bet your winelovers will appreciate it? 😍

Valentine's Day 2019/idea 3: the bottle with dedication

Since time immemorial, bottles have been the guardians of messages that ply the seas, weathering the elements, rarely reaching their destination, but still giving great emotions to those who receive them. For me, there is no better occasion than uncorking a great bottle for someone you love, provided you write a loving thought on it.

Valentine's Day 2019: What are the most beautiful love phrases to write on the bottle?

"The soft sound of a cork being uncorked from the bottle has the sound of a man opening his heart"..

William S. Benwell

'Wine adds a smile to friendship and a sparkle to love'.

Edmondo de Amicis

"I love you not for who you are but for who I am when I am with you".

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"To love is not to look at each other, but to look together in the same direction. Antoine de Saint-Exupery

'That love is everything, that's all we know about love'.

Emily Dickinsonù

"For if meeting remains magic, it is not to miss out on the real fairytale".. Massimo Gremellini

'Great love is like wine of a good vintage: the more years pass, the more exciting and precious it becomes'.

Chiara Bassi [I had to put one in too 🤤]. 

Then choose the bottle that your he or she might like the most (in your wishlist, don't forget to add a reserve red from the winery Carpineto whose guest I will be... my side as you know I love bubbles and I assure you that their Farnito sparkling wine is one of the best Martinotti methods I have tasted in the last year! Take a look at their shop online by clicking HERE!) and add a dedication on the label or on a card to tie with a ribbon around the neck of the bottle, with the aim of preserving the (empty) bottle for years to come. In short, write your message ON THE bottle, a dedication that will steal your loved one's heart forever. I also recommend you discover the Tenuta Tre Gemme's Dedica line (shop online by clicking HERE)where you can write your message directly on the label thanks to the matching Perpetua pencil! [Photo above]. 

We are in a modern era where writing love letters is no longer fashionable, I know that... but what is more beautiful than receiving a loving word, reading it and re-reading it in happy moments as well as in sad ones? I remember the love cards my dad would make to my mum, with vintage photos, flowers and hearts even after 10, 20, 30 years of marriage. All kept with extreme care by my mum, certainly not as dreamy and romantic as my dad, but still in love with this side of him. Isn't this wonderful?

My dad taught me to dream of great love and to cultivate it like a precious flower, just as he and mum did until the disease took him away from us. Every day since that cursed 18 December I remember that we are only passing through, and we cannot put off until tomorrow what we can build today.

A person to love, with whom to live a story like that of my parents, is the greatest fortune that can happen to us in life. In this world where everything is precarious and even emotions are transient, where we have lost the value of everything in function of the fast consumption of anything, feelings included, we must rediscover the true meaning of life. A meaning that is not made of objects to possess, but of emotions to share. A sense that must somehow guarantee us that at least our affections are solid and not precarious. Because the world changes and we change with the world. Presidents change, jobs, ideas, seasons, skin, hair... but those who truly love us remain, always and in any case, to look at us as the most beautiful thing in the world.

So I wish you much, much love accompanied by many toasts.

With your better half,

with your closest friends,

with your family.

Cheers ❤🍷


Have you already bought my book dedicated to aspiring Sommeliers?

Everything you need to know about wine in less than 300 pages. The handbook is designed for all aspiring sommeliers, but is also very useful for 'already sommeliers' who want to brush up or for winelovers who want to start giving their passion a concrete foundation. 

I created this wine handbook to share my years of study and work and to help all aspiring sommeliers realise their career path and become sommeliers. This is exactly the book I was looking for when I was studying to become a sommelier. I was looking for a convenient book that I could carry with me at all times because I took advantage of every free moment to study, since I was working in the meantime. I was looking for an essential book, without frills, able to get to the heart of the matter since I did not have that much time to read endless flights of fancy. I was looking for a concise, schematic book that would help me memorise. I was looking for a neat, well-organised and clear book that would make studying easy and intuitive for me. I was not looking for a substitute for the beautiful textbooks, which were still a pleasure to leaf through, but for a 'notebook' in which I could highlight, underline and write... because that is exactly what we need to fix the topics in our heads.

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