The Perfect At-Home Valentine’s Day Menu and Playlist

I love a date night out at a restaurant as much as the rest of you, but when it comes to Valentine’s Day it truly is sometimes (most times) better to cook at home and enjoy the company of your partner, your friends, or even just yourself.

Together with Keanna O’Quinn, the original Sonic Sommelier, we have curated the ideal menu and playlist for your Valentine’s Day dinner. Each course is approachable, so no worries about impressing anyone with complex cooking skills. As well, each dish is paired not only with a perfect wine pairing but also thoughtfully considered when creating the playlist.

First Course: Baked Feta with Pistachios, Honey, and Roasted Artichokes

Paired with: Prosecco | youthful, flirty, outgoing

Click here for recipe

It’s not a celebration without some sparkling wine. The first course of the night pairs a bright, fruity Prosecco with a salty-sweet crostini spread of baked feta, pistachios, honey, and roasted marinated artichokes. You can make this dish with or without the artichokes, but if you have them on hand they are a great additional burst of flavor. Not to mention, February is artichoke season so why not incorporate a little seasonality into your menu. Get the recipe for Baked Feta with Pistachios and Honey here.

To match this food and wine pairing, Keanna selected songs that embody the energy, playfulness, and confidence of youth. These tracks are high frequency & slightly upbeat to reflect the bubbly effervescence of the sparkling prosecco with catchy hooks and playful lyrics. To highlight the crunch of the pistachio crostini, you’ll hear tracks with a consistent, percussive element. The top of the playlist features a mix of pop and R&B, with a focus on fresh, new artists who are pushing the boundaries of their genres. This sonic backdrop sets the tone for fun, intrigue, leaving a lingering sense of desire for more.

Second Course: Spicy Pennoni Alle Vodka

Paired with: Chianti Classico | sophisticated, witty, a little mysterious

Click here for recipe

Essentially a penne alle vodka but with a kick of spice to liven things up and a pasta shape with a little more intrigue (basically a squat version of penne). I love this pasta dish because it’s so rich in flavor yet simple. It’ll impress without taking too much effort — but it’s not so easy that if you’re cooking for someone else they’ll wonder if you made any effort at all. And that extra spice is perfect for heating things up for V-Day. Pair it with a Chianti Classico — pasta’s best friend. This wine is a classic for a reason with balance and charm. Get the recipe for Spicy Pennoni Alle Vodka here.

Here, Keanna handpicked tunes that have a bit more sonic depth to captivate the listener and elevate their listening experience. From grounding, bass-heavy melodies to vocal deliveries shrouded in mystery, each song is chosen for its ability to evoke emotions and spark the imagination. The musical midway point of the playlist is brooding and introspective, sure to delight the senses and take you on a journey through sound.

Third Course: Chocolate-Covered Strawberries with

Paired with: Port Wine | mature, seductive, confident

Click here for more Valentine’s Day Wine Pairings

Keep it simple when it comes to dessert. Anyone can make chocolate-covered strawberries and they’re a classic for this holiday (not to mention delicious). You can even make it part of the date night to make them together.

The musical finish is a seamless blend of smooth and sultry sounds that evoke feelings of sensuality, assuredness, and refinement. These soulful, R&B grooves set the mood for a night of romance. The confident and assertive energy of the music provides the perfect underscore for warmth & closeness, while its mature and seductive tone makes it ideal for sophisticated gatherings. Let the music transport you to a world of sensual elegance.

Love this playlist and concept? Check out Keanna’s website to learn more about Sonic Sommelier and the art of pairing music with food, wine, and atmosphere. You can find Keanna on Instagram at @sonicsommelier.

Sydney Isaacs
Sydney Isaacs

Sydney is a 29-year old American living between France and Italy. She has a WSET Level 2 certification in wine, along with a degree in environmental engineering and an MBA. She loves exploring local farmer’s markets, haunting her favorite wine bar, and discovering new restaurants.

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