Cooking together – a cozy Valentine’s at home

Judith Papesh, Contributor

Wine and food pairing for a special night in cooking with your Valentine


Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and if your plans for a night out are a little sparse, why not make it a night in and enjoy some special time cooking together?

We have some fantastic recipes and ideas for wines to pair that will create a memorable Valentine’s Day, and you can wear comfy slippers with your fancy clothes.

Porcini mushroom ravioli

Beautiful on the plate, delectable, and fun to make, porcini mushroom ravioli showcase the deep woodsy, earthy mushroom flavors of porcini for a hardy meal but not overly heavy for your big night. 

With a lightness and a savory character, porcini ravioli are perfect when you yearn for a favorite Chardonnay while your partner thinks Pinot Noir. That unforgettable Valentine’s wine might be a Washington Chardonnay from Florence Cellars or a superb Willamette Valley Pinot Noir like our own Maxine Lily Gregory Ranch Pinot Noir, depending on whose glass you are gazing over. 

Chicken saltimbocca

Chicken saltimbocca is another easy-to-make and impressive choice for your Valentine’s dining. Translated as “jump in the mouth,” you might have a revved-up Valentine’s after all.

This dish has an intensity and body with bold flavors and magical aromas as prosciutto, sage, butter, and Parmigiano-Reggiano work into a divine meal. Like the porcini ravioli, there are options to indulge in your favorite white or red with saltimbocca. While a crisp white wine is a fine choice, why not break out the bubbles and open a Lytle Barnett Brut Rosé

Once you’ve leaned into a sparkling rose, embrace a full red with a bright, medium-bodied wine like an old vine Carignan or Pinot Noir. Two Shepherds Old Vine Carignan has raspberry and cherry and savory herb characters that provide an interesting complement to the sage and prosciutto, as will the berry, spice, and herbs of the Kivelstadt 2017 Sibling Rivalry Pinot Noir.

Oven-roasted lamb rack salad

Lamb is often considered a special occasion meat, which is what Valentine’s cooking together is all about. Delicate lamb chops perched on a bed of couscous are a lovely presentation at your table for two. This dish is for two to make and enjoy and remember that cooking together can make any night a special occasion.

Lamb is a Provencal standard bearer for “what grows together goes together.” Our succulent lamb chops perfumed by thyme, rosemary, and oregano in the herbes de Provence in this dish echo the aromas of lamb’s southern Mediterranean soulmate, Grenache

Equally at home in the western US, Grenache shows off dried herb and fruit characters in Two Vintners Claire Grenache, sure to be a perfect pairing with those cute little lamb chops.

Evidently, those who cook together grow together, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Rising Wines Collective!

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About Judith Papesh, Contributor

Retired Winemaker, Winemaking Consultant, and Washington State Licensed Geologist. Bourgogne Master Level Certification, French, Italian, and Spanish Wine Scholar Certifications

In the first class to complete Washington State University (WSU) Extension Enology Certification, Judith opened her winery, crafting wines that garnered local and international acclaim before turning her attention to studying and educating about the world's wines. "Winemaking is very much an art as well as a science; it is a consuming passion that drives you during the day, keeps you up at night, and when the wine is right, simply leaves you breathless."