Valentine Emergency – Swing By Ralph’s Thriftway For Wine And Spirits



By Leslie Merchant

You’ve done it again haven’t you?  Missed all the pink and red signs, avoided the silly commercials, and generally ignored all the heart shaped displays that have popped up everywhere.  Fortunately, Ralph’s Thriftway is here to rescue you (and your special someone!) from your temporary Valentine’s Day amnesia.

On Valentine’s Day Rob Backman, Ralph’s Beer and Wine Manager, is more than happy to help you remember those you love.  He has wine and spirit recommendations for both men and women.  For either gender, Rob suggests a delicious bottle of chocolate wine paired with some crisp acidic fruit.  The acids found in strawberries, apples, and even pineapples complement chocolate notes in the wine.  “It gives you that chocolate finish, so it’s a good a late evening bottle,” Rob explains.  In other words, the perfect ending to an ideal evening.  Rob recommends The Chocolate Cellar and Chocolate Shop as two delectable varieties.

For a Valentine’s toast, Rob recommends a prosecco called Enza. He explains that because it’s got fruitiness to it, it goes with any meal and is very versatile. “The quality is above average but the price is a home run,” Rob says.  He points out that prosecco is a great choice for others on your Valentine’s Day list, such as an aunt or grandmother, because you can customize it with their favorite fruit juice. Package it with a little fresh orange, pineapple, or grapefruit juice, and Rob exclaims that, “Mimosas are not just for breakfast anymore!”

Valentines aren’t just of the female variety, and Rob has some unique offerings for the men in your life (or the women depending on their tastes).  “Flavored vodkas and flavored moonshines are hot.  Right now I do a Valentine’s Patron set.  I find things on the market that are going to be a value; if the customer doesn’t get a value there’s no sense in putting it on your shelf.  It’s cheaper per volume than a single Patron, and you get a variety that you can’t buy by itself yet.”  The Patron set comes in an eye-catching signature red box and has quickly become a popular gift item.

Valentine’s Day is celebrated around the world on February 14th.  The precise origin of Valentine’s Day is up for debate. Some argue that it is celebrated in honor of several men named Valentine who died for the sake of love and/or marriage.   Others contend that the Christian Church decreed the feast day to lend some morality to a pagan festival.  While conflicting histories and commercialism seem to have taken over, the modern meaning of Valentine’s Day is simply to recognize the people you love.  The timeless gift of wine and accompanying chocolates or fruit is always appreciated and valued.

Storman’s Incorporated is a fourth generation, family-owned Olympia business.  Its signature stores, Ralph’s and Bayview, offer a wide variety of gift ideas for the special people on your Valentine’s Day list.  For more information, please consult Rob Backman or any of Ralph’s wine specialists at (360) 357-8011 or visit the website.

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