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Wine picks for romantic dates at home

Wine picks for romantic dates at home
by Richard Vayda

(NAPS)-Busy couples don't have to let hectic schedules and budget concerns interfere with a great date night. Dinner at home can transform into a romantic evening by elevating a delicious meal with the right wine pairings. To help you bring a slice of romance to your next dinner date, consider these simple dishes and wine pairings:
Traditional Melon and Prosciutto-ripe pieces of melon wrapped in thinly sliced prosciutto go well with a fresh and fruity Prosecco-a perfect start to a meal. A frizzante brut style has elements of white peach that highlight the melon fruit, and hints of sweetness countering the prosciutto's salt.
Traditional Caesar Salad- with garlic croutons can be paired with a Beaujolais. Salads are typically difficult to pair with wines because of the acidic dressings, and Caesar salads additionally need a wine that goes with multiple, complex flavors while still matching the freshness of the greens. Beaujolais, with its bright acidity, light tannins and young fruit tinge, does a nice job. If white wine is preferred, try a crisp, full Sauvignon Blanc.
Restaurant-quality fresh-from-the-freezer pizza makes a romantic date night a snap. Italy's top-selling frozen pizza, Ristorante by Dr. Oetker is available in the U.S., and includes delicious varieties, such as:
Pizza Mozzarella-combines mozzarella cheese with tomatoes, Edam cheese and a delightful mixture of herbs. The cherry-plum flavor of a Chianti Classico has food-friendly acidity and tannins, which love cheese, tomato and herb pizzas. For an extra treat, try a Chianti Classico Riserva or a sparkling red Lambrusco, for vibrant, young berry fruit along with the fizz.
Pizza Spinaci-layered with savory leaf spinach, Edam and mozzarella cheese, with a hearty garlic sauce, this goes well with a Cites du Rhone Rouge. It has a good balance of red plum fruits, tannin and spice but doesn't overwhelm.
Mixed Berries-with vanilla whipped cream go splendidly with Moscato d'Asti. This light sparkling wine packs a lot of fresh apricot flavor, excellent both to end a meal and to marry with a fruit dessert. Look for current vintages for the freshest fruit flavors. For more sparkle, try a traditional Asti (formerly Asti Spumante).
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You can find more advice, recipes and information about quality pizza at

Mr. Vayda is Director of Wine & Beverage Studies at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, and a restaurant consultant.

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