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Three lust-worthy Valentine's Day wines

Romance, shmomance. We've had it up to here with all the laughably predictable recommendations and ill-advised wine pairings that show up like clockwork every year at this time. We're not hatin' on love or anything -- but since when is the notion of celebrating that special someone with a bottle of something rocking reserved exclusively for the fourteenth of February?

That's why this year we'd like to propose that you focus on bringing out a few wines that emphasize an emotion that doesn't get nearly the press it deserves (especially when it comes to wine): good old-fashioned lust.

Lust-worthy wines make your mouth water merely at the thought of them. Wines that'll make your toes curl -- well, you're gonna have to drop a bit of coin on 'em, people. Wines like this are always worth the splurge; after all, satisfaction of this magnitude doesn't come cheaply. But satisfaction is what you shall have (possibly in more than one form) if you play your cards right.

And if you're ready to get down and dirty, open one of these three wines tonight -- or any night when you're looking for something more than Hallmark card-inspired love.

 

Aubry et Fils Brut Rosé Champagne NV ($58): We need only two words to describe this wine: panty dropper. An intoxicating fragrance of crushed rose petals followed by fresh-from-the-oven raspberry clafoutis will immediately assault your senses. Next, an achingly acid-driven palate that reminds you of cherry Sweet-Tarts and spicy ginger beer will whet your palate perfectly, setting the stage for whatever wine (or activity) may follow. But whether you start or end your evening with this particularly gorgeous bottle of pink bubbly matters not. Either way, you'll end up deliriously happy.

Patton Willamette Valley Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009 ($35): Pinot like this is the vinous equivalent to sex in a glass. And if the object of your Valentine's Day affections happens to be an oenophile, then the mere sight of this label may be all that it takes to seal the proverbial deal. Things are gonna get dirty right away: Slightly funky aromas of dried tea leaves and dusty black cherry yield to a flavor bomb-of-a-mouthful of black licorice, cherry cola and raspberry scone. With a finish that goes on and on, this is a wine that's a little bit nice and a little bit naughty -- all at the same time.

Chateau Ste. Michelle 'Ethos' Reserve Syrah 2008 ($35): This dense, heady syrah will seduce you like a long-lost lover from the moment you lay eyes on it. Shades of inky-dark reddish purple hint at the blackberry and boysenberry scents wafting from the glass. In your mouth, those same fruit flavors reappear along with the addition of blueberry pie -- and every sip is edged with hints of toasty oak, cinnamon and cocoa. And no need for food with this one -- or with any of the wines that made our lust-worthy list. The only items required to fully plumb the depths of wines this intense are a wine key, a couple of glasses, and (hopefully) someone who gets you even more fired up than these bottles will.

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