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A Menu (and Pairing) for a Very Easy Romantic Dinner at Home

We love going out for dinner, but there’s also something special and cosy about staying home and cooking for the people you love. Whether it’s a romantic dinner, a get-together with friends or a family meal, at El Coto de Rioja we’ve got the best pairings to impress your fellow dinner partner(s). On this occasion, bearing in mind that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, we’ve come up with a menu (and pairing) for a very easy romantic dinner at home.

February 14th is a date that is loved and hated alike. However, whatever your romantic situation, it can be a good excuse to celebrate the love and connection you share with your partner, a friend, or even a group of like-minded people. 

 With that in mind, we’ve come up with an almost-effortless Valentine’s Day menu with wine pairings that’ll win everyone over. Take a look!

Starter: cheese board

Cheese is one of the most classic appetisers to savour a good ageing red wine with. Serve your cheeses with some sweet sides such as figs, quince, blueberry jam, or some grapes for an easy-to-prepare dish that will get the conversation going while you whet your appetite.

A selection of 6 to 8 cheeses is a great starter. A soft white cheese, strong soft paste, cured, hard, blue cheese… variety is the spice of life (and keep in mind the number of diners if you’ve decided to host a Valentine’s dinner for friends). If you want to take things a step further, you can make cards with the name of each cheese.

The presentation of the cheese board is essential. On a classic wooden board, on a tile or slate, line the cheeses from softest to strongest and cut each one differently (cubes, slices, sticks, etc.). You can also add nuts, fruit, bread, or jam to go with it. 

 Serve this starter with a glass of El Coto Crianza, a soft and balanced tempranillo that pairs perfectly with cheese. It’s also an easy red wine to drink with meat, fish, and Spanish cold cuts. So, if you’re looking for something extra for your starter, we recommend the acorn-fed Iberian ham from Dehesa Baron de Ley to add the perfect gourmet twist.  

Main course: oven-baked sea bass with potatoes

White fish is always a good choice when it comes to dinner. Oven-baked sea bass with potatoes is as easy to make as it is delicious. Read on to find out what ingredients you need and how to prepare it.

INGREDIENTS (for two people):

  • 1 sea bass with the central spine removed and flaked 
  • Potatoes  
  • 1 clove of garlic 
  • 1 onion 
  • Fresh parsley 
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • White wine 
  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • Ground black pepper 
  • Salt 


  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into half a centimetre thick slices. Cut the onion the same way. On a tray, mix the two ingredients together with the bay leaves, season, and drizzle over a couple of tablespoons of oil. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 °C, with top and bottom heat. 
  2. Put the potatoes in the oven on the middle tray for about 20 minutes. Then stir and bake again for another 20 minutes. 
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, wash, dry and chop the parsley. Mix with a dash of oil and white wine along with the finely chopped garlic. 
  4. Once the potatoes are done, place the sea bass on top (you can remove the head of the fish). Season and drizzle a splash of oil over it. Place the tray in the oven for 5 minutes. 
  5. Using a kitchen brush, spread the mixture of garlic and parsley on top of the fish and potatoes, and leave in the oven for another 5 minutes.

And that’s it! This delicious dish takes less than an hour to make. You can enjoy the cheese board and wine while it’s cooking in the oven.

Once the main course is served, we suggest pairing it with the 875 m Barrel-Fermented White. It’s a very elegant chardonnay with a touch of tropical fruits and vanilla that’s not at all commercial, allowing you to discover new flavours and aromas.

Dessert: strawberries, cream, chocolate…

To complete our menu (and pairing) proposal for a very easy romantic meal in, we had to end with something sweet. The strawberry is known as “the queen of fruits” for its heart shape and supposed aphrodisiac properties. We can’t think of a better dessert for the most romantic day of the year!

You can serve them chopped in a bowl with a little sugar, chocolate or cream, in a mousse… and, of course, accompanied by a glass of fruity, refreshing wine. El Coto Rosé, with its aromas and flavours of fresh strawberries and caramel, will add an even sweeter touch to the evening.

We hope you liked this menu idea, and let us know on our social media if you decide to try it out (@cotoderioja).  

Here are some other ideas to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home. But first, don’t forget to pick up some special wine from the El Coto de Rioja online store.

How to celebrate Valentine’s Day at homeDiscover the best wines to celebrate with here!