17 Romantic Food & Wine Pairings

Crab Cakes
From oysters and steak to chocolate fondue and fudge, we've paired some of our best recipes with a range of affordable and splurge-worthy wines.

Steak au Poivre

Brandy cream sauce adds a special-occasion twist to classic pan-fried steak.

Pair it with: A rich, full-bodied red; try Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet 2006 ($27.00, www.beringer.com) or Glen Carlou Syrah 2006 ($21.99, www.glencarlou.co.za).

Chocolate Fondue

Chopped peanuts and a swirl of marshmallow creme dress up this retro dessert. Serve it with strawberries, orange slices, and angel food cake.

Pair it with: A rich Shiraz; try Angove's Shiraz McLaren Vale Vineyard Select 2005 ($19.49, www.angoves.com.au) or Pepper Tree Sparkling Shiraz NV ($29.50, www.peppertreewines.com.au).

Chicken with Creamy Mushrooms

Though it looks fancy, this Italian-marinated chicken smothered in creamy mushroom sauce is ready and on the table in just 30 minutes.

Pair it with: A crisp, fruity white or rose; try Ecco Domani Pinot Grigio 2007 ($8.99, www.eccodomani.com) or Domaine Carneros Brut Rose Sparkling Wine ($36, www.domainecarneros.com).

Roasted Oysters

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a natural aphrodisiac -- oysters -- paired with a simple mixed-green salad or shrimp cocktail.

Pair it with: Bubbly; try the fruity, slightly sweet Domaine Ste. Michelle Frizzante ($12, www.domaine-ste-michelle.com) or the elegant Bouvet Signature Brut ($12, www.kobrand.com).

Country French Beef Stew

Make this pot roast stew ahead and reheat it before dinner -- it tastes even richer after it sits overnight.

Pair it with: A spicy red; try Osborne Solaz Tempranillo-Cabernet 2005 ($9, www.osbornesolaz.com).

Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna

Layers of tangy peppers and creamy goat and ricotta cheeses put a festive spin on classic lasagna.

Pair it with: A classic Chianti; we love the bright cherry notes in both Ruffino Aziano 2006 ($13.59, www.ruffino.com) and the more elegant Ruffino Santedame 2006 ($19.33, www.ruffino.com).

Almond Biscotti

Homemade almond biscotti are even more delicious when dunked in a glass of Port.

Pair it with: De Krans Tawny Port Western Cape NV ($14, www.dekrans.co.za) or Delaforce Ruby Port Fine NV ($8, www.delaforce.com).

Chicken Curry

The sweetness in raisins and peanuts balances spicy curry in this mouthwatering dish.

Pair it with: A sweet, medium-bodied wine to temper the spice of the dish; try Willm Gewurztraminer 2007, ($14.99, www.alsace-willm.com).

Tuna Steaks with Fresh Tomato Sauce

For a delicious dish ready in just 18 minutes, top grilled tuna steaks with our zesty homemade salsa.

Pair it with: A California Pinot Noir; we love the cherry and peppery notes in Meridian California Pinot Noir Santa Barbara 2006 ($11, www.meridianvineyards.com).

Easy Crab Bisque

Serving rich and creamy bisque is a delightful way to indulge your sweetie -- and this recipe is easy and elegant.

Pair it with: A rich and buttery California Chardonnay; try Ventana Vineyards 2007 Chardonnay ($18, www.ventanawines.com).

Tuscan Lamb Chop Skillet

This quick and easy lamb dish looks impressive, tastes delicious, and is ready and on the table in just 20 minutes.

Pair it with: A dry red; we love the full-bodied Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Cabernet Sauvignon-Sangiovese Toscana Castiglioni 2006 (www.frescobaldi.it, $23.99).

Simple Fudge

This decadent seven-ingredient fudge is so easy you can even make it in the microwave.

Pair it with: A rich Shiraz; try Angove's Shiraz McLaren Vale Vineyard Select 2005 ($17, www.angoves.com.au) or Pepper Tree Sparkling Shiraz NV ($29.50, www.peppertreewines.com.au).

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

A horseradish cream sauce flavors tender roast beef; serve it with our simple mushroom tumble.

Pair it with: A spicy Syrah, such as PlumpJack 2007 Syrah Napa Valley ($42, www.plumpjack.com), or a fruit-forward Zinfandel, such as Ravenswood Zinfandel 2007 ($15, www.ravenswood-wine.com).

Scallops with Dill Sauce

These broiled scallops are served with an easy-to-make tartar sauce -- all ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Pair it with: An ultra-crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc; try Babich Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008 ($14, www.babichwines.co.nz).

Coq au Vin

Nothing says celebration like this French classic; serve it with a simple mixed green salad.

Pair it with: A medium-bodied red; we love the round Pepperwood Grove Pinot Noir 2008 ($9.69, www.donsebastianiandsons.com).

Crab Cakes

Roasted red pepper relish adds a special twist to classic crab cakes; complete the meal with our Sharp and Sweet Green Salad.

Pair it with: An oft-dry Riesling; we love the mineral, pineapple, and tangerine flavors in Wolf Blass Riesling Adelaide Gold Label 2008, ($14, www.wolfblass.com.au).

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