Idiot Proof Ideas for Valentines Day!


Yes, it’s that sappy time of the year again – Valentine’s Day. If this is your first year at it, just know that it can go really well or it can be a total disaster. Somewhere in between works, but who wants to achieve mediocre?

My own personal advice is this: Do some level of planning before the big day because your significant other will know if you didn’t and that is the key to avoiding a disaster.

For the clueless guys, and some ladies too, who don’t know where to start planning for this day, I’m going to give you some suggestions in order to avoid a disaster:

First, think of your significant other’s expectations. Is she the easy-to-please type who expects nothing more than flowers? Or, is she the kind of girl who wants a thoroughly-planned, thrilling Valentine’s Day to remember forever? Keep in mind – whatever you do this year has to get progressively better next year! Or, does she want nothing more than one full night of your undivided attention, which brings to mind that TV commercial with the guy checking his phone for sports updates while out to dinner with his girl – uh, don’t do that! What’s most important with any of these scenarios is to consider his or her ‘maintenance level,’ determine what you can afford, and then start planning. Of course, plan sooner rather than later.

Wine & Dine

Pick the right restaurant! Do you have a Wendy’s date or a Morton’s date? I’m sure that 100 percent of Orange County’s restaurants are offering a special for the night, so here are a few selections I’ve found to get your wheels turning:

Amazing Grapes – Come on, this is our blog! Of course we’ll be pitching our place . . . and for good reason! Not only do we have you covered with a large selection of Rose’ Champagnes, we have just about any still wine you could think of. If you’re planning on cooking a special dinner at home, swing by for lots of pairing suggestions to compliment whatever it is your making.

The Grape – Amazing Grapes Wine Bar also has a special evening planned. Click here to sign up for a special notification.

Hanna’s Steak House – South Orange County’s and Rancho Santa Margarita’s nicest restaurant has a special A La Carte menu planned for the evening with three seating’s available at 5, 7 and 9 pm. I strongly suggest calling early for reservations.

Piccolino Ristorante – For pure romance, Italian dining is where it’s at. Sal, the owner, is a marvelous host who will make the evening special for you both. Picoolino has a great Italian wine list or drop by our store and pick up a bottle to enjoy there. A modest corking fee of $18 will apply. Click here to see their special Valentine’s Day menu.

Pina’s Bistro – My favorite Italian restaurant is having a Valentines Special meal. You can read my review of this restaurant in Greg’s Food and Wine Reviews or go to the restaurant website here. Strongly urge you to make reservations  at this gem!


Get Away. Way Away!

Here’s a great idea – Escape the home to get the romance and privacy you crave, especially if you have children. There are a number of options just a quick drive away where you and your Valentine can cozy up. And you don’t have to go far either; bet you didn’t know we have a cozy new hotel with a great spa right in our back yard! Check in to Ayre’s Suites in Mission Viejo, just off the 241 Toll Road.


Flowers That Will Blow Her Mind

My wife will kill me for sharing my florist with you, but hey .  . . that’s what blogging is all about. If you absolutely want to blow your wife’s mind, you have to get an arrangement for her from White Lilac. Guaranty you’ll make her day!


Outside the Box  . . . of Chocolates . . . Duh

If dinner is too boring for you, or you can’t afford a weekend getaway, try something a little different to impress your Valentine. Try writing your loved one a love letter. I have never met one woman who wouldn’t prefer a love letter over dinner, a trip or flowers. And for heaven’s sake – skip the box of chocolates from the grocery store. Nothing will kill the mood faster than a box of Russel Stovers – ugh. If she has to have chocolate, find a See’s Candy store or order something online from the plethora of chocolatiers who make gourmet treats.