What makes Champagne so romantic? It may simply be that the form of intoxication associated with bubbles is uniquely titillating. Giddiness rather than wooziness. Champagne, the region, is at the 49th parallel, the same latitude as Vancouver’s, the northernmost extent of wine production. It may be that there is some sympathy between the grapes and us, owing to their endurance of the chilly and damp climate of northeast France and our own resolve to face down the February gloom with at least one evening of candle-lighted intimacy.
You could easily choose a Mediterranean wine for Valentine’s Day and fantasize an escape to the Riviera. But I for one prefer [...]