Dining

Wine Pairing and a Romantic Valentine’s Day Dinner at Twenty/20

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Turning dinner into a special Valentine’s Day meal is best done with the right glass of wine. At least that’s what the folks at TWENTY/20 in Carlsbad think, which is why the restaurant, which features views of the Pacific from their terrace, is featuring a romantic three-course Prix-Fixe menu with wine pairings on February 14. Pairing food with the right wine can enhance and complement it in a way that can turn a meal into a lasting impression.

When choosing what wine to pair with a certain food, it’s important to focus on the components of the dish and keep in mind one’s mood or the occasion. For big events such as Valentine’s Day, stretch the boundaries and get out of your comfort zone into a varietal that is unique or different but perfect for that special occasion. Otherwise, there are a few additional pieces of advice that can help guide the way.

The first rule of pairing is, “if it grows together, it goes together.” This is an old wine pairing philosophy that thrives greatly in regions such as Italy and France. The regional wines there were made and cultivated to complement the food and enhance its flavors. A good example of this is Barolo, which is grown in Piedmont, and is known for rich, braised meat.

For salads with a tart and acidic vinaigrette, try a rich, buttery and full body chardonnay. The vinaigrette and the body of the chardonnay play a fun game with the taste buds and bring both extremes back to the center.

Those who like spicy foods should try pairing them with a not-too-sweet Riesling. The low alcohol and high acidity, with a hint of sweetness, will enhance the spice perfectly. Subtle heat in a dish with a dry Riesling will make that spice sing.

Grilled meat goes perfectly with Rhone red wine. Rhone wine can be extremely scary for consumers, and rightfully so, with names such as “Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe” or “E. Guigal Brune et Blonde.” However, Rhone wine is simply a combination of Syrah, Grenache or Mourvedre along with about ten other varietals that can mix in. Rhone reds have a beautiful dusty and earthy quality with lovely pepper notes. They are like cracking fresh ground pepper on a steak to bring out the flavor of the beef.

The last rule of thumb for wine pairing is definitely the most important: drink and eat what you like, especially on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. At the end of the day, no pairing is perfect or set in stone, so break the rules. When in doubt, ask. At TWENTY/20, the sommeliers are available to personally work with each guest to help them find a wine that is their perfect match.

Join TWENTY/20 for a romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day with a coastal sunset view on the heated terrace or dining room. The special three-course, Prix-Fixe menu will feature delicious options by Executive Chef Julian Quinones and Sous Chef Ryan Coffey. $65 per person, $25 wine pairing. For more information visit twenty20grill.com

About TWENTY/20

Named for its picture-perfect coastal views, TWENTY/20 is elegantly perched atop Carlsbad’s highest point. As Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa’s signature restaurant, its location provides a gorgeous backdrop to a truly delightful dining experience. The menu features farm-to-coast cuisine with flavors and styles in-spired by the California coast. All plates are made with fresh ingredients that are organic and locally sourced whenever possible.

The restaurant offers several seating options, allowing guests to take their pick from the upscale dining room, intimate bar, relaxing lounge or popular outside covered terrace. State-of-the-art heat elements allow for year-round enjoyment of the terrace with an array of cozy and communal seating spaces to choose from, while custom-designed fire and water features are sure to complement every meal.

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