For Cupid's sake, there are only two other higher stakes/low-indicator holidays: New Year's Eve and your birthday.
Valentine's Day has pretty well turned into one of those manufactured holidays, complete with shortening-laden pink frosting upon a styrofoamy cupcake base. And that this one falls on a Saturday night just ratchets the stakes up even higher.
So, before I work myself up into a total lather, let's take the edge off. Instead of using that bucket of ice to bounce off the wall, or the bottle of champagne to shake threateningly, let's pop the cork, pour a little, and taste the stars.
My picks: I am a complete fan of Moet's White Star ($30 at Trader Joe's) and Domaine Carneros's Taittinger ($20, same shop). I do think Veuve Clicquot is overrated at its price ($40+, everywhere). But for low key sipping or mixing, Cristalino Brut and Segura Viudas are terrific. And if your date doesn't do bubbly, you can find splits at Cost Plus.
My favorite champagne cocktail:
Mix a half teaspoon brandy, one teaspoon Grand Marnier and half a teaspoon of sugar in the base of a champagne flute. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Splash a bit of champagne, and stir until well-blended. Top with more champagne. Enjoy. After a few of these it really doesn't matter that the holiday didn't meet your extravagant expectations. Again.