Valentine’s day can be the best or most depressing times of year, what is certain however is that it is one of the most stressful times of year in the male calendar.

Okay it is coming up to that dreaded…sorry I mean wonderful time of the year, Valentine’s Day. It is the time of year where companies try to aid you in expressing your undying love for your partner, or if you are single make you want to kill yourself and make you feel like you are ‘the only one’ without a partner.

The wine world always get up in arms with their gift wrapping services and lots of pink wine and champagne – I mean just because you plaster pink hearts over your shop doesn’t mean people are going to want to drink pink wine. Moreover what is even more depressing is that the majority of people coming into your shop are there because they don’t have a partner and are drowning their sorrows.

Shops might be better off just hanging a noose above the counter and wait for the inevitable. Then the understandably depressed customer is confronted by the smiley sales assistant asking whether they want their ‘sorrow bottle’ gift wrapped with a box of chocolates for their loved one. ‘Oh just p**s off’ they think smiling through gritted teeth at the sales person, oh the polite society, thinking “if only I could turn into the incredible hulk and go mental”. Then again the incredible hulk has a missus as well. My god that is a depressing thought, “I guess anyone with incredible in their name will have no problem with the ladies!” Does anyone else hear the bell toll? I always find it incredibly hard buying Valentine’s presents and I am pretty sure the experience is there just to torture guys. Personally shopping for myself is something to be avoided at all costs. Then shopping for someone else, who is usually quite hard to please and incredibly fussy(no offence) is my idea of a nightmare. What do I know about ladies fashion?

Now this is the time when she would say “if you have been paying attention to me you would know what my tastes are.” Oh come on, yes I know you like G&T with Slim-line tonic and Bombay Sapphire if they have it, your favourite colour is green and you like elephants, but that isn’t giving me much to go on. I mean how many years in a row can you buy a green elephant with a bottle of Bombay Sapphire? All I am saying that for many guys it is a very traumatic time of the year: first you need to be organised (which for me comes very hard) and secondl you need to have an in-depth, almost psychic understanding of your partners likes – thinking about it being psychic would help a lot.

I have concluded that I need a girl like the ones in Sideways (if you haven’t seen it, it is the film about the trials and tribulations of a Californian wine get-away). Now that would be an easy girl to please, buy a 1990 Vosne-Romanee 1er Cru and it would be the greatest gift ever (oh and I’ll be able to enjoy it too. It’s not selfish, just shared tastes!). The price may be the only problem, so maybe a Gevrey-Chambertin 2005. I’m sure of course she would be an elegant, perfumed, and soft-bodied Pinot-girl.

Away from the ranting and the fantasy wine girl; who I’m sure is only a fantasy in a time-saving-on-present-buying sense. In any case there is a high chance you will want to buy a bottle of sparkling wine (or Champagne) for the special day so here are three recommendations. To really impress it is always good to go with well-known top-performing Champagne. My choice is the vibrant Laurent Perrier Rosé (, £49 each when you buy 6., £38 each when you buy 6. Oddbins, save £14,  £49.99). Laurent Perrier is rich and crisp a real winner and is well worth the money. With some of the deals going around at the moment it is probably worth stocking up.

Now I know this isn’t much cheaper than the LP Rosé, but it is really worth a mention. Hush Heath Balfour Rosé sparkling from Kent (yes Kent in England) is a rich, yet elegant rosé sparkling. If you want to feel British (without joining the EDL) and support our local wine industry go for this one, it really showcases one of the top English wines producers and is giving the French a run for their money. (, £37 each when you buy 6. Or in good independent wine shops, £35-45)

For those of you who want some sparkle in this time of austerity then one of the best buys at the moment is SanLeo Rosato NV Prosecco, (Waitrose, £8.49) This is slightly lighter and more refreshing than the other two examples, but still packs in quite a lot of flavour with a decent amount of finesse. A real top value sparkling rosé.

Most importantly enjoy your wonderful Valentine’s Day! Remember guys it only comes once a year!!

Phil is the wine Guru at SloshBox wine you can check out more of his articles and buy great wine at


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