romantic california wine

19 Romantic California Wines

Seeking a little something special to sip with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day? Consider a selection from this list of romantic California wines, each guaranteed to ramp up the seduction all month long.

Joseph Phelps 2019 Insignia

Every day, but especially this month, you should wear your love like a badge of honor. Like an insignia. And you know what pairs well with an insignia? That would be THE Insignia, Joseph Phelps’ 98-point winning wine named among the top wines in the United States by James Suckling. It is rich and layered, just like love, with burst of berry sweetness. $330

Alpha Omega Spring Mountain Red Wine Napa Valley 2019

Relationships require give and take. The team behind this romantic California wine, part of Alpha Omega’s AVA series, give and take a little bit of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot during the winemaking process to complement the existing Merlot, resulting in liquid magic in a glass. $180

cass cab romantic california wine

Cass 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon

This Double Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco Wine International Competition has been nicknamed by its winemakers as the “love child” of Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc. Though an unlikely pairing, the bottle finds a way to wow with seemingly contrasting flavors – blueberry, mushroom, cassis, chocolate mint, coffee and a hint of leather – each coming together in perfect harmony. $55

2020 Justin Justification

Janet Jackson is famously “wanting, needing, waiting…for you…to justify my love,” and Justin is all too happy to deliver, both to Miss Jackson (if ya nasty) and to you and yours this Valentine’s Day with this highly aromatic blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A perfect romantic California wine to pair with a multitude of aphrodisiacs, expect a symphony of berries, plums, vanilla, herbs and even a touch of tobacco in this balanced bottle. $65

Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve 2019

Big and bold, like love itself, this Cabernet will not be shy on the nose or the palate. It has distinct flavors of blackberry, blueberry and black currants as well as notes of both chocolate and toasty vanilla, which add to the richness. $32

2019 Rombauer Napa Valley Merlot

Though its butter Chardonnay sets the standard for the region, do not sleep on this velvety smooth Merlot, which is a delightful marriage of pipe black plum, black tea, freshly baked pie crust, and vanilla and spice. The flavors of this romantic California wine are the perfect partner for cuddling by the fire. $48

ONEHOPE Love Language California Red Wine

The name says it all! Share the universal language of love – wine – with this medium-bodied poetry in a bottle. It will dance on the tongue with flavors of cherry cola before evolving into layers of zesty spice and a bevy of red fruits. $20

Handwritten Wines

Handwritten 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Carneros

To find a lasting love is rare and to be cherished. To find a Cabernet from Carneros – which is nearly unheard of given it is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay country – should be similarly treasured. One of the rarest bottles available from the acclaimed Handwritten Wines, it is brightly acidic yet smooth on the finish with a dizzyingly delicious combination of white cherries and black pepper to the taste. $120

2019 Balverne Malbec

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but all those who behold this bottle will be hard-pressed to question its beauty. Made by the talented team at Notre Vue, it features the best of both the Old World and the New with bouquet of boysenberry jam and then the flavors of tart red plum, brown sugar crystals and even a touch of violets to the taste. $45  

Louis M. Martini 2019 Cypress Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Given that special someone in your life is a queen (or king), why not crown them? This inky purple beauty is one of the lauded winemaker’s “Crown Collection” of Cabernets, which are dedicated to showcasing distinct site-specific characteristics of Martini’s most esteemed mountain sites. Expect cocoa and cinnamon to start here, followed by cherries and cola in every sip. $100

Bricoleur 2019 Pinot Noir Special Selection

Pink may try, but red will always be the color of love. This vibrant, glowing ruby red showstopper is perfect to set the mood. It is a celebration of red currants, lavender, dark cherries and even a little spiced strawberry to the sip. $85

Bella Union romantic california wine
Bella Union

2018 Bella Union Cabernet Sauvignon, Etched I LOVE YOU

Bella Union means “beautiful union,” so the wine on its own is perfect for romance. However, this particular varietal may be ordered etched with “I Love You” on the bottle, taking it over the top. To the taste, delight in notes of raspberry , cocoa and even baking spice before a trio of red fruits take center stage on the palate. $115

2019 Pinot Noir, Ram’s Gate Estate

This bottle is for the long-time loves who have stood the test of time given it is made from a small subsection of Ram’s Gate’s older vines that have stood the test of time themselves. The older vines mean the resulting grapes are more concentrated, so expect each of the varied flavor notes to be bold, especially the baking spice, white pepper and açai berry. $85

Eberle 2018 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Lush and lingering, like those first days (and nights) with a new love, Eberle has a hit on its hands with this Reserve offering. It is a stark red explosion of currants and black cherries with a healthy kick of acid and a kiss of chocolate and peppermint on the finish of this romantic California wine. $125

Clif Family 2019 Estate Zinfandel

It takes devotion to both make a relationship work and to make a wine that works. Celebrate your devotion by toasting the one you love with this bottle, the result of the Clif family’s deep devotion to the land and soil. Ripe but not overly so, enjoy a rush of flavors – both bold and those more subdued – including blueberry cobbler, espresso, and cherries to the nose and taste here. $65

daou romantic california wine

DAOU 2019 Estate Soul Of A Lion

Want to knock his/her/their socks off during a romantic dinner for two? This blockbuster bottle, explained best by the winemaker as “a kaleidoscope of aromas and flavors,” is a celebration of Bordeaux (yet in the heart of Paso Robles) and explosion of blackberry, blueberry, black currant, dark cherry, sweet tobacco and licorice. Expect a long, lovely finish, too. $150

Davies 2018 J. Davies Estate “Jamie” Cabernet Sauvignon

The pinnacle of the Davies Vineyards, renowned worldwide for its Cabernets and an emerging powerhouse of Pinot Noirs, this limited-edition offering is made annually from only the finest grapes on the Davies’ family’s historic Diamond Mountain vineyard property. Named to honor the late Jamie Davies, who with her own true love (husband Jack Davies) brought Schramsberg (Davies’ sister winery) back to life in 1965, this epic varietal offers exquisite notes of boysenberry, blackberry, cherry, baking spices, plum, Cinnamon Toast Crunch (yes, the cereal – it is amazing) and dark chocolate. $245

Fulldraw Winery 2019 Honey Bunny

Pet names? Yes, please. This Syrah-Mourvèdre blend is perfect for those who love nothing more than to have a little fun with their honey bunnies, sweetie pies and lovey doveys no matter how much friends roll their eyes. Toast each other and enjoy how the leather, smoke and earth in every sip are balanced deftly by a cornucopia of ripe black fruits. $90

Armida 2019 Il Campo Estate Field Blend

Bewitching to the eye, nose and taste, this blend of primarily Zinfandel and Petit Syrah is like love itself: not for the faint of heart! Expect acidity in the form of cranberry, licorice and pomegranate, but also richness from notes of mocha and cedar. Finally, there is this punch of fruit flavor, mostly blackberries and cherry, that rounds everything out and demands another sip. $52

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