'Galentine's Day' celebrates romance of truly great pals

(written for the Los Altos Town Crier)

I didn’t plan to have the incredible female friendships I have. As with many of life’s most wonderful things, my friends are an unplanned blessing. Now that I have these relationships, however, I plan a lot – to rely on my friends’ advice and trust their support, to attend weddings and baby showers of future adult children and, in our 80s, to make one another feel young and giddy.
In gratitude, my near-term plan is to celebrate my friends Feb. 13. This eve of Valentine’s Day is gaining traction as a new pseudo-holiday known as “Galentine’s Day.” The term, coined on the television series “Parks and Recreation,” is all about acknowledging the importance of having friends. As a massive fan of both puns and friendships, I’m all for a day with a clever name and a goal of honoring gal pals. It isn’t possible to see all of my friends on this day, but for those I’m able to gather, we’ll enjoy lunch and wine.
The wine staff at Draeger’s Market in Los Altos helped me select the wines for our special lunch. Their two recommendations are so good that I plan to pick up more than one bottle of each. The wines would be just as lovely served alongside a romantic meal on Valentine’s Day.
Gregory Peebles recommended Champagne Moutard Rosé de Cuvaison Brut, Non-Vintage ($34.99) from Draeger’s wine aisles. Perfectly pink and bubbly, this wine screams “Valentine’s Day” (or “Galentine’s Day,” as the case may be).
“Moutard brut rosé is a sensational combination of brilliant salmon color, multilayered flavors on the palate and gorgeous chains of bubbles,” Peebles said. “Made of 100 percent Pinot Noir, this wine is a rarity and a wonderful value.”Draeger’s wine manager Emmett Welch suggested the 2015 Day Zinfandel ($29.99) from Sonoma County.
“This beautiful red is made by a true wine guru, Ehren Jordan, using his philosophy that great sites and old vines produce extraordinary wines,” Welch said.
This is a truly special Zinfandel that will be appreciated by every woman around my table. It’s friendly, elegant and balanced – just like the conversations I’m sure we’ll share Feb. 13.
As for the menu, I’m serving warmth and exotic flavor. Parsnip and cauliflower ginger soup will complement a goat cheese and olive bake. For dessert, it will be chocolate pots de crèmes with raspberries. Each course pairs well with both the Champagne and the Zinfandel.


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