Love is in the air… and with these Italian wines, made by the esteemed Castello Banfi of Montalcino, Tuscany, and Banfi Piemonte of Strevi, Piedmont, love can be in your glass as well. Each of these wines pairs excellently with the sweet treats and indulgent dishes for which Valentine’s Day is associated. And their respective romantic stories make them more than fitting for a Valentine’s Day toast. That’s amore!
Rosa Regale Sparkling Rosé: This semi-sweet sparkling rosé from Piedmont in Northern Italy is made from the Brachetto grape, often used to produce a wine similar to Lambrusco. The nose is highly aromatic with hints of sweet grapefruit, orange, rose petals, and ripe melon. The palate is soft, with crisp acidity. Lovely served chilled on its own, it also makes a great base for Valentine’s Day cocktails.
The love story: Brachetto d’Acqui’s romantic backstory dates to the times of Cleopatra. Legend has it that both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony presented Cleopatra with several wine skins ﬁlled with this luscious elixir, knowing it would be love at first sip. The empress then had her lovers drink the wine in order to unleash their passion, and the rest is history.
Pair it with: Chocolate covered strawberries and pastries. Buy it here.
Principessa Gavia Gavi DOCG: This crisp, dry white, also from Piedmont, is made with 100% Cortese. It is intensely fresh with bright aromas of green apple and pineapple and features delicate acidity on the palate.
The love story: During the 6th century, Principessa Gavia fell deeply in love with a soldier. Her father, Clodimir, King of the Franks, forbade their marriage, so the lovers eloped to a remote village in northwestern Italy. Charmed by the local white wine, the newlyweds revealed their identity and were brought before the King, who recognized their happiness and forgave the couple. The King blessed their union and named after his daughter both the village and its wine. It is said that their romance lives on in each glass of Principessa Gavia Gavi.
Pair it with: Raw oysters and seafood or on its own as an apéritif. Buy it here.
Castello Banfi Brunello di Montalcino DOCG: Castello Banfi is credited with pioneering a new era in Brunello and focusing the wine world’s attention on Montalcino. This ethereal tribute to Sangiovese features violet, vanilla, and hints of licorice on the delicate nose. The palate is full, soft, and velvety with traces of spice.
The love story: This is Banfi’s flagship wine—a Brunello di Montalcino that represents a decades-long love affair with the Sangiovese grape. Enamored with the grape’s complexity and potential, Banfi founded a research center specifically dedicated to Sangiovese, which it has been studying closely for more than 30 years. Banfi helped to identify several of the stellar Sangiovese clones that are now used for Brunello, elevating the varietal to worldwide fame as one of the most premium Italian wines.
For the ultimate in romance, drink this one at the source, Castello Banfi in Montalcino, Tuscany, a fully-functioning winery and 14-room boutique hotel situated on 7,100 sprawling acres of vineyards and olive groves, originally built as a fortress between the 9th and 13th centuries.
Pair it with: Rich pasta dishes, braised beef, pork or lamb, and mushroom dishes. Buy it here.