“Your words are my food, your breath my wine. You are everything to me.” ~ Sandra Bernhardt.

As the title proposes, there’s a trinity of endearment that appears eternal: we love wine, we love food and we love love.
So many of our well known restaurants in town are enjoying that special Valentine’s Day prix fixe romantic dinner such as Pinzimini, Vicky’s of Sante Fe, Lantana, the Cave Restaurant at the Renaissance Esmerelda, and Mikado at JW Mariott Desert Springs with their delicious line-up of courses.
The love explosion that still remains in the air after Valentine’s Day continues to be played out at a couple of venues in the desert. You can celebrate love all month long at the Miramonte Resort & Spa in their 28 Days of Love. There the flames of passion are being fanned by the Cupid-approved presentations and programs for the Body, Soul, and Palate.
The Body & Soul aspect is being warmed with couple’s massage packages and jazz music under the stars; and, as to the Palate, the artistic and artisanal Executive Chef, Robert Nyerick, has lovingly put together a heartthrob of a menu that continues until Sunday February 17th.
The “Amoré Menu” created by Chef Robert is fashioned to entice the taste buds and excite the senses. This menu features Lobster and Shrimp Ravioli with Basil Cream, Duet of Panko Seared Sea Bass and Grilled Filet of Beef with Roasted baby Root Vegetables followed by Chocolate Decadence.

Both Chef Robert and myself propose a sweetheart of a wine suitor to this “Amoré Menu”: Provocative. Ahnfeldt Winery’s 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is offered both by the glass or bottle. Now if the definition of provocative means “to deliberately arouse the interest and desires of the senses”, well then all aboard on this affectionate pairing!
This delicious Cab is blended with small amounts of Syrah, Merlot, and Cab Franc that is aged in 100% French Oak for 20 months. Provocative owns a bouquet and a flavor profile full of fruit, beautifully balanced, smooth, with a touch of earthiness, overlays of oak, soft tannins, and the perfect medium finish. Each course brings out some really charmed nuances from that ménage of grape varietals. An absolute darling of a match.
The “Amoré Menu” is $55 per person and reservations are recommended. Call (866) 642-9712 or book your reservation on Open Table.

Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar also continues until February 17th to serve their special Valentine Celebration Menu featuring your choice of entrées between Roasted Lobster Tail or Chateaubriand with Crab Glaçage. Included as an appetizer is an Heirloom Tomato and Housemade Burrata, with an amuse bouche of Citrus Marinated Salmon Tartar. This Valentine menu is offered at $69.95 AND each dining couple will received a $25 Fleming’s gift card for a future rendezvous.
To accompany this Celebration of Love dinner, Fleming’s Wine Bar recommends a 2009 Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc North Coast at $10 a glass and/or the 2010 Catena Malbec at $11 a glass.



The Schramsberg sparkling wine is a fabulous choice with either entrée, especially with the Roasted Lobster Tail. One hundred percent Chardonnay—from Napa & Sonoma Valleys, it offers bright aromas of crisp green apple, pineapple, and yeasty sweet bread dough and follows with expressive and generous tastes of white stone fruit, apple, pear, and tart grapefruit. Look for a salty minerality and a complex creamy palate. Who isn’t smitten by that description!
The Catena Malbec is rich and concentrated, with blueberry and blackberry notes and a touch of leather and cinnamon. The finish presents well-integrated tannins with bright acidity and a flinty minerality that gives the wine exceptional length. Quite an endearing choice to go with the Chateaubriand.
“We are all mortal until the first kiss and the second glass of wine.” ~Eduardo Galeano
Here’s to romance! Cheers!
Rick Riozza is the desert’s romance sommelier-about-town conducting and entertaining at private and corporate wine events and tastings. He can be reached at winespectrum@aol.com