Wine of the Week: 2009 Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet

It's almost Valentine's Day - a holiday equally dreaded and anticipated. Single folks are reminded just how single they are, and those in relationships will either flourish or be crushed under the weight of expectations. Either way, it's a great day for wine.

My latest sample came from Cupcake Vineyards, which I really like. Anticipating another winning wine of the week, I opted for this decadent-sounding Red Velvet blend of Zinfandel (47 percent), Merlot (29 percent), Cabernet (19 percent) and Petite Sirah (5 percent) to "audition" for my Valentine's Day drinking festivities.

This deep, dark, indulgent red won me over immediately with aromas of chocolate and berries. The taste wasn't far behind with lots of milk chocolate, blackberries, raspberries and some smokiness at the very end. Each varietal is fermented separately, blended later and put through an oak regime to impart that delicious creaminess. I'm really into the whole blended red wine concept, judging from my last few experiences.

Needless to say, it was a very good glass of wine (and if you decide to buy a bottle at $13.99, a very affordable one as well). It paired well with the dark chocolate-covered caramel candies in the iconic heart-shaped box of chocolates and provided enough tannins and depth to cut through the sweetness. If you're looking for a red wine for Valentine's Day, take home a bottle of the Red Velvet from Cupcake Vineyards. It's a good bet you'll have a great February 14, no matter your relationship status.

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