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Wines for Valentines

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andrewrennie/Flickr
andrewrennie/Flickr

Whoever came up with that catchy phrase about 'the way to a person's heart is through their stomach' was mostly right. Add wine into the mix and you've really got it made. This is especially true when sipping these spectacular wines that come from premiere producers with stellar pedigrees. This fabulous list, made exclusively for me for you, was created by Carol Berman, founder of Class in a Glass and Take Home Sommelier. I've known her for years and have always trusted her smart picks. Romance begins at the table. Where it ends, you decide.

SPARKLING
CA'DEL BOSCO, PRESTIGE BRUT, FRANCIACORTA, LOMBARDY, ITALY
Franciacorta wines are going to be the next big trend in the sparkling category. This amazing, elegant blend of Pinot Bianco and Chardonnay will make your heart beat faster! Average retail price $35.00

RAVENTOS I BLANC, BRUT ROSE 'DE NIT', CAVA, PENEDES, SPAIN
Romantically pink and quite gregarious! It seduces sip-by-sip. Average retail price $23.00

WHITE
CANTINA TERLAN, PINOT BIANCO RISERVA, VORBERG, ALTO ADIGE, ITALY, 2009
Voluptuous and insouciant. Average retail price $24.00

RED
J.L.CHAVE, CÔTES DU RHONE, MON COEUR, 2010, FRANCE
From one of the most masterful wine makers in the Rhone region, Chave's seductive, gripping blend of Syrah and Grenache, Mon Coeur is appropriately named (my heart). Average retail price: $22.00

DESSERT
ALBA VINEYARD, RED RASPBERRY DESSERT WINE, MILFORD, NJ
Valentine red in color and enticingly sweet, tart and lively! Average retail price: $16.99 (375ml)

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And here's a Valentine from me: A recipe for Insanely Simple Chocolate Mousse. Adapted from my book, Cooking 1-2-3, it is virtually fool proof, and good for fools in love.

Insanely Simple Chocolate Mousse

10 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup brewed espresso, at room temperature
5 extra-large egg whites

Chop chocolate into small pieces. Put in a heavy saucepan with espresso. Over very low heat, melt chocolate, stirring constantly until smooth; cool slightly. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat egg whites until stiff. Slowly add the slightly warm chocolate mixture, beating on low for a moment, then folding gently with a flexible rubber spatula until thoroughly incorporated. The whites will deflate dramatically but the mixture will become smooth and creamy. Do not over-mix. Spoon mousse into four wine glasses. Refrigerate several hours before serving. Serves 4

Rozanne Gold is a four-time James Beard award-winning chef and author of Eat Fresh Food: Awesome Recipes for Teen Chefs, Healthy 1-2-3, and Radically Simple: Brilliant Flavors with Breathtaking Ease.

Rozanne can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RozanneGold.