Zambello Sambuca Rossa, Italy, $20, 750ml ,82 proof
On Valentine's Day, a little red after dinner drink might be the perfect way to finish off a romantic dinner. A tradition with Sambuca is to put three coffee beans in the glass to represent health, wealth and happiness. This Sambuca is smooth and lighter than some others we have tried - not overpowering, but enjoyable. Appealing aromas of licorice flowed into the flavor. A warm subtle sweetness and light cherry flavors balanced the anise that lingered on the tongue. This would make a great pairing with tiramisu or ice cream with pralines.
J Brut Rose Non Vintage, California, $35
With any romantic dinner, a bubbly wine is a terrific start, middle or finish, and J. Brut Rose will not disappoint. It has a light salmon pink color with subtle aromas of strawberries and fresh red apples. With the first sip, a symphony of flavors explode -white peach, lemon zest, kiwi and pears. These linger and are kept in balance with a layer of acidity and yeastiness. Perfect with almost any course of the meal including seafood and chicken.
Sam Adams Cherry Wheat, Massachusetts, 5.4 percent alcohol, $8 per six pack
This dark amber beer a nose that is like smelling a bowl of fresh cherries. Once you drink it, these tart cherry flavors take over, but at the finish, notes of wheat start to emerge. This nice fruit beer delivers the flavors its name promises with nice complexity. Serve with dessert or as a pre-dinner cocktail. It also would pair well with pork loin topped with cherry and beer sauce.
NOTE: FOR A LIST OF UPCOMING WINES TO BE REVIEWED, E-MAIL ADVANCE@WINETALK.ORG.