According to one source, half the people who become engaged in a given year, do so on Valentine’s Day. And the substantial gift-giving that occurs on the holiday indicates that many others take the holiday seriously as a celebration of romantic love, the magic that is part of any completely viable partnership, even though it can sink below zero during trying times. The fragility of romantic love in day to day life is all the more reason to approach Valentine’s Day with enthusiasm and nurture its purpose.
We associate three gifts with Valentine’s Day, flowers, chocolate, and champagne. Of the three, flowers reflect the pagan roots of Valentine’s Day, when the holiday was a celebration of spring and the rebirth of nature along with human fertility. Chocolate is thought to be a particular favorite of women, associated with “cravings,” and champagne is a celebration symbol, all those bubbles joyously colliding. But if you think about it carefully, red wine is the single most appropriate gift of all.
Assuming that you plan to celebrate the occasion, why is red wine the best gift for Valentine’s Day and the best expression of romantic love? First, like love it warms us, and after all, February 14th is still winter. Second, wine is red, the color of love, of the heart. And third, like love it can make us giddy. Flowers, chocolate, and champagne just don’t measure up to all three tests. To finalize my argument and inspire you at the same time in case you need a nudge, I summon much wiser heads than mine, who have pondered the connection between wine and love.
In water one sees one’s own face. But in wine, one beholds the heart of another.
An Old Frech proverb
May our love be like good wine, grow stronger as it grows older.
Old English Toast
The Spirit of Wine
Sang in my glass, and I listened
With love to his odorous music,
His flushed and magnificent song.
William Ernest Henly
They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.