It’s Valentine’s Day soon, (February 14 of course, as if you didn’t know) and a little forethought can enable you to share the love this year in a more imaginative way. I’ve been researching a few potential gifts for you…
You’re ‘the One’
What could be more romantic than giving a vodka aficionado a bottle of locally-produced – and appropriately named – vodka from The Spirit of One. This is an unforgettably smooth, aromatic vodka, bursting with citrus zest and fresh herbal notes. It features the company’s signature botanical of fresh sage, with the addition of zesty citrus notes and just a subtle hint of vanilla. From £34 (with the option of a personal message on a gift tag too) plus the added bonus that the bottle can be used afterwards as a water carafe. And each sale helps to fund the provision of clean water in the world’s poorest communities. One vodka is available directly from thespiritofone.com
Spice up your evening with a gift of a heart shaped jar of chilli jam from Tracklements. Incredibly versatile, and rather addictive, this gift of cleverly curated fresh chilli jam doesn’t stop giving with the last spoonful – the glass jar can even be recycled into a cute little vase. Tracklements Heart-Shaped Jar of Fresh Chilli Jam, RRP £6.55 for 350g, is available from fine food delis and farm shops nationwide and online from Tracklements.
Give them a Kiss!
Soko Patisserie offers a limited edition selection of chocolate lips, in three flavours and colours, including: Pink – chocolate orange centre in milk chocolate; Red – salted caramel in white chocolate and Black with pink flashes – pistachio centre in white chocolate. As gifts, they can also be sent directly to the recipient along with a personal message. £15 for a box of 15 chocolate lips in three flavours and shipped nationwide in time for Valentine’s Day from Soko Patisserie
Or Have a Heart?
There are already chocolate and cake hearts galore in the shops, which is really convenient if you are seeing your Valentine on 14 February . But if you are wanting to be anonymous or if you are geographically separated, Farhi has a range of wonderful luxury heart-shaped chocolate gifts ranging from just £6! A 770g jar of chocolate hearts for £17.50 (in dark or milk) or perhaps a whole kilo of foil wrapped hearts for £20? Available online from Farhi and also stocked by John Lewis
Start your evening with a Negroni
I’d definitely recommend buying a bottle of Black Cow Vodka Negroni. Featuring vodka (made from milk from cows in Dorset) coupled with vermouth, Campari and a blend of bitters, this ready to serve Negroni just needs some ice and a garnish of orange slice or zest
A really well balanced Negroni, it’s bold and enjoyably bitter, with a generous orange note to back up the herbals. £28 for 50cl online
Romeo & Juliet
The ultimate lovers, so what could be more appropriate than a bottle of Veronese-based winery Pasqua’s Romeo and Juliet wine range? This famous love story is the inspiration behind the `PassioneSentimento’ range. Comprising four wines ‘to fall in love with’, the range boasts eye-catching label designs featuring a contemporary interpretation of the messages left by modern-day lovers in the famous courtyard of Juliet’s house, Verona.
‘Romeo & Juliet’ Prosecco Rosé NV has the addition of Pinot Noir grapes creating a rosé version of this popular prosecco, fresh and fruity with lifted notes of fresh raspberries. Pleasantly dry, and at £12.99 a bottle it’s very reasonably priced.
You could move on to the Pasqua ‘PassioneSentimento’ Passimento Rosso 2020 at £11.99. A blend of Corvina, Croatina and Merlot grapes, the ‘appassimento’ style of winemaking, when grapes are picked at peak ripeness and left to dry in special crates, concentrates all the sugars and. The result is a seriously rich and silky texture, with intense sweet black and red berry fruits and hints of spice
wines – and the other two in the range – are available online and instore from Majestic.
And with that lovely red wine, you might be eating some cheese? Here’s a fun gift!
Happy Together Cheese Knives, £13 from Kikkerland – Set of 2 knives: one for hard cheese and one for soft cheese and they snap together for storage
If, like most of us, you’re having to watch costs very carefully at the moment, you might like to know that Asda has announced its 3-course Valentine’s Meal Deal for just £15 for two including wine. Highlights include a Truffle Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Slow Cooked British Beef and Vegan Mushroom Arancini Hearts with Truffle Dips for starters, 30-Day Dry Aged Sirloin with Smoked Garlic Butter and Wild & Roast Garlic Stuffed Yorkshire Bred Pork Kiev Cutlets for the main affair and Italian Espresso Tiramisu Cups for dessert. The deal also comes with 2 slides and either a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates for the perfect evening in! Marks & Spencer and Waitrose are also both offering a similar Valentine’s menu for £20
Spice it up!
And finally, for a bit of fun, apparently Spicy Rosé is set to be a big drink trend for this year. First surfacing on TikTok, it’s even been cited as a top tipple on ITV’s This Morning. Think Wine has collaborated with Cooks&Co to create a cocktail recipe that’s really easy to make. There is a school of thought that says the endorphins in hot sauce and chilli peppers can increase your libido! Take a bottle of Think Wine’s Sparkling Rosé and a jar of Cooks&Co Tri-Colour Jalapenos pour over ice and float some jalapeno’s on top. A weird one, I confess! Think Wine Sparkling Rosé is available direct £20.99 (75cl), Cooks&Co Tri-Colour Jalapenos are available direct at £2.69 from Cooks&Co and Ocado at £3.40.