Wines to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is near! Whether you reject the day as commercialized nonsense, or take advantage of an official day to celebrate love – there’s no stopping it Valentine’s Day is upon us! The stores are full with chocolates, stuffed animals, and heart-shaped everything.

I believe, that regardless of relationship status, everyone can enjoy a special bottle of wine! So what’s the best drink to share or indulgence in alone, as a treat? I’m sharing some of my favorite sweet wines to enjoy for Valentine’s Day, no matter who you’re celebrating with.

Bubbly Pink Moscato by Barefoot

This pink moscato pick by Barefoot Wine is actually a sweet champagne, perfect for special occasions. It is very bubbly and deliciously sweet, with flavors of berries and citrus. Bonus – it comes in cute little single serving bottles, fun for sharing with Galetine’s or out on a picnic!

Sparkling Rosé by Cupcake Vineyards

Cupcake Sparkling Rosé offers delightful flavors of raspberry and strawberry with delicate floral notes. It’s not my normal indulgence, as it is an off-dry rosé, but it has an easy finish. Overall this is a fun pick for the  sort of sweet drinker.

Stella Rosso by Stella Rosa

Rosso offers the perfect bit of sweetness and is just a tad bubbly. It is a deep red, slightly sweet and smooth, with noticeable hints of berry. Check out my other favorite wines by Stella Rosa.

Red Velvet by Cupcake Vineyards

It may not be actual cake, but this red wine is just as much of an indulgence. Red Velvet wine is a silky red blend with notes of cherry, blackberry, chocolate and mocha. Its intense and has a strong finish. I prefer this wine chilled.

Presentation Counts

For that extra romantic flourish (necessary) present your wine in a decorated glass. I decked mine out with vanilla icing and festive sprinkles.  It is a mushy, over-the-top day, might as well go for it!

Whether you love or loathe the holiday, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to spread love ❤ I’m also excited to share a few handmade Valentine’s Day decoration pieces I’ve made to help celebrate. I am a true romantic, so I do love this holiday – hope you’re inspired to spread the love this year!

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Pittsburgh’s Urban Winery, R Wine Cellar

R Wine Cellar Urban Winery

R Wine Cellar is a family-owned urban winery with a quaint shop located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. They focus on creating wines with grapes grown in Pennsylvania, California, and South America. I recently enjoyed a fun afternoon exploring their wines when I stopped into the strip store for a complementary tasting.

 

R Wine Cellar produces a wide variety of wines including three fun specialty wines a peach chardonnay, red spiced wine, and an apple spiced white wine.

Fiona Peach Chardonnay

My favorite R Cellar wine that I tasted was a fresh and fruity wine with hints of peach and apricot. The fruit creates the sweet, and the Chardonnay adds a and crisp finish.

Next time you visit the Strip District, I would encourage you to stop into R Wine Cellar’s charming store. I enjoyed chatting with the owner and tasting their wines. Cheers!

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Local Pittsburgh Winery, La Vigneta

La Vigneta Winery is a Pittsburgh homemade wine business owned in part by a friend of mine, Francesca. She makes moscato so she’s my friend. Just kidding shes a fabulous lady, I admire for going after her dreams! You can now find this La Vigneta wine all over farmer’s markets in the Pittsburgh area, but the business was grown from a first batch made in a Pittsburgh basement.

Francesca’s Dad taught her about homemade wine making. Owning a catering business he experimented with making wine in his Greensburg home in glass car boys. He’s originally from Alia, Sicily. This is where he learned to make wine in an authentic, old-fashioned way!

In 2013 Francesca was inspired by how good the homemade wine was and ordered a batch of pressed juice from California. With her Dad’s help Francesca started making wine in her Brookline home’s basement in. May 10th 2013 was their first day selling together at a Mt. Lebanon farmers market.

Creating their first batch of Petite Sirah, a dry red wine and now their most popular red wine a Sangiovese. The later was actually not what they intended to create they accidentally ordered it! They created 30 cases this first season. The first commercial batch sold featured the same wine base 3 different ways, sold as dry, semi dry and sweet, starting their wine experimentation.

An Italian family member helped name the wine business. La vigneta means the little vineyard in Italian. There’s a small town in Tuscany called Vigneta with hotel called Hotel Il Grotto. This is someplace Francesca hopes to visit one day to celebrate the success of their homegrown wines.

Now they create anywhere from 8-12 wines based on the season. Their moscato is their number one selling white wine! They use it in an apple pie cocktail, using other local proprietor Paul Family Farms maple syrup!

Francesca and her family have also added to the excitement, moving to a 17 acre farm in Sarver PA. They plan to continue expansion, with a tasting room open to the public. On the property they grow grapes and blueberries and are renovating a beautiful old farmhouse. They have plenty to celebrate being slated to sell over 7,000 bottles of wine this year!

Next time you’re at a local farmer’s market make sure to look out for the La Vigneta Winery booth to try their delicous wine. You can La Vignetta at local wine festivals all around the Pittsburgh area, like we the Ligonier Country Market every Saturday. La Vignetta is giving me another reason to look forward to the upcoming Fort Ligonier Days festival!

I know what I'm doing this weekend @lavignetawinery

A post shared by Moscato Is My Mantra (@moscatoismymantra) on

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Moscato Flavored Lip Balm from Stella Rosa

Yes really, moscato flavored lip balm!

This fun find is from one of my favorite brands of moscato, Stella Rosa Wines of San Antonio Wines. These wine flavored lip balms smell fruity and delicious, a fun treat for your lips. Perfect gift for wine-lovers.

Made in the USA with Beeswax, Coconut Oil, and Grape Seed Oil.

6-Pack Set includes  each of the following flavors:
-Stella Rosa Berry
-Stella Rosa Peach
-Stella Rosa Pink- flavors of peach, honey and red berries
-Stella Rosa Moscato – flavors of peach and honey
-Stella Rosa Rosso- flavors of strawberry and red berries
-Stella Rosa Black – flavors of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry

Order your own here!

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My Top 5 Moscatos of the Moment

Everyone needs a little wine time. I prefer the sweet kind. If you’re new to sweeter wine my favorite is Moscato (obviously). Moscato is most known to be an Italian-grown fruity white dessert wine, featuring peach, orange and or nectarine, sometimes with a slight fizz. Moscato is made with muscat grapes, which are thought to be the oldest variety of grape in the world. It’s now made out of California, Spain, Japan and many other locations.

This wine is low in alcohol about 5-6% alcohol and easy to drink. In 2012 the Wall Street Journal’s wine columnist reported moscato was the most popular wine sensation of 2012 and 2011 (coincidentally the year I turned 21), citing its welcomed drink-ability for those that are newcomers to drinking wine. A “gateway wine” – haha!

There are so many fun variations of Moscato now. Next time you see a Moscato on the menu, or at the store, I encourage you to give it a try and let me know what you think.

My Top Moscatos of the Moment

  1. Moscato by Cavit is just plain light and refreshing for enjoying at home on the couch after a long day. It’s also so cheap!

    Moscato is My Mantra

  2. Villa Jolanda Moscato & Coconut is bubbly and a bit of a dry finish for such a sweet wine. Its more of a special occasion wine than a drink with dinner.

  3. Mia Dolcea Moscato d’Asti bubbly is sweet and light, just what I like.

  4. Cupcake Vineyard’s Moscato d’Asti is light with sweet notes of nectarine, honey and peach.

  5. Stella Rosa Wines of San Antonio Wines has a Moscato D’Asti that is more strongly carbonated than most mosctos, but is also sweet, fruity and delicious. Plus the brand is just fun. The bottle has a crown raised emboss. I love their digital and social content, it’s definitely a brand with personality.

    Stella rosa moscato wine

  6. I was first attracted to Bartenura’s moscato because of the beautiful blue bottle. The taste keeps this wine in my regularly purchased rotation. It’s bright and refreshing, semi sweet, with pear, tangerine, nectar and melon fruit flavors.

  7. The Peach wine by local North Hills of Pittsburgh, Narcisi Winery, has a delicious flavor and is a tiny bit tart. This is a syrupy fruit wine. I also enjoy their Black Raspberry. Its also very fruity, tart but does not have the syrupy waulity of the Peach. Narcisi winery

  8. Moscato by Ohio’s Gervasi I think it is super yummy, but I do have to admit it is very syrupy sweet. It is served in a tiny dessert wine glass at Gervasi. My favorite Gervasi wine is the Brigante sweet red. It is described as having an “assertive structure, complex berry flavors – ‘Bad Boy’ personality. I’m surprised that I like this wine so much because its not just sweet, but has another layer of something, maybe a smokiness, that I didn’t think I’d like this wine so much. It is delicious. I can’t help but take another bottle home with us after each visit to Gervasi.

    Gervasi Brigante wine

Now here are some of my favorite wine captures.

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