Valentine's Primer & Local Wine Events
Valentines Day is approaching and there are many ways people express themselves and celebrate the holiday. Some choose a nice romantic dinner while others opt for flowers and cards, but how about some decadent chocolates and Virginia Wine? Some will argue that chocolate and wine are not good mates, but Virginia wineries look to show you differently. When paired correctly, chocolate and wine can be a match made in heaven. Of course there are some basic rules such as when serving dark chocolate you want to look for a full and flavorful wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or other stronger wines. For milk chocolate, try a lighter red like a tasty Virginia Cabernet Franc, Norton or other similar fresh fruit wines. What about white wines you ask? With white wines try something delectable, rich and buttery like white chocolate, which will marry nicely with some of the fruity and semi-sweet spring time sippers Virginia offers. Also in that group would be a nice off dry Riesling or a fruity and mildly oaked Chardonnay or a delicious Late Harvest wine.
In addition, Jennifer Breaux Blosser of Breaux Vineyards, of whom will host a Chocolate and Cabernet event on Valentine’s Weekend recommends the following Breaux Vineyards Wines with the various types of fine chocolates.
For dark and bitter-sweet chocolates Jennifer recommends the 2001 or 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon and goes on to add: “that because of the Cabernets lovely roasted quality and nice tannins – it tends to mellow out any sharp or bitterness the chocolate may possess and bring out the intense flavor of the chocolate. Likewise the cocoa in the chocolate helps to mellow out the tannins in the wine and any astringency. The finish is smooth for both wine and chocolate...HEAVENLY !”.
Jennifer suggests that the Merlot 2002 would pair nicely with milk chocolate offering: “The Merlot is fruity without being sweet and is not overly oaky, the tannins are just firm enough to add a dimension to the milk chocolate that it would not have without the wine without causing it to appear bitter. The 2001 or 2002 Lafayette (Cabernet Franc) is also a nice combination when paired with a creamy milk chocolate”.
For white chocolate Jennifer selects the tasty NV Sweet Evangeline dessert wine and explains: “because of the lovely flavor of orange blossom it gives forth. It will pick up any fruity flavors in the white chocolate and help cut the buttery, almost “cloy” aftertaste that white chocolate often contributes”.
Fletcher, of Winery at La Grange, where history and wine mingle, suggests that the “Meritage 2005” is diverse enough to pair with any style of fine chocolate. Readers can visit La Grange for themselves Valentine’s Weekend and try the Meritage 2005 with an assortment of fine chocolates offered.
John Delmare, proprietor of Rappahannock Cellars, recommends their full bodied and rich Meritage 2005 with dark chocolate, while saving the medium bodied Claret 2005 and Cabernet Franc 2005 for milk chocolate. For white chocolate, John suggests the Noblesse Blanc 2006, an off dry crisp wine, or the Late Harvest Vidal Blanc 2005. Rappahannock will also host a wine and chocolate pairing event on Valentine’s weekend complimented by the beautiful Blue Ridge and live music.
Dezel would like to send a warm thanks to Jennifer, Fletcher and John for their great input. With a combination like Virginia Wine and fine chocolates there is definitely a heavenly combination for you! Want to find it? Read on friends.
Let’s take a look at some of Dezel’s favorite Virginia Wineries hosting Weekend Wine and Chocolate events in celebration of Valentines Day!
Breaux Vineyards - Chocolate & Cabernet Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Breaux Vineyards Cabernet will be paired with fine Dutch chocolates. Jennifer knows her wines and chocolates and this sounds like a savory and sensory experience. Don't miss out! Times: 11am-5pm. Fees start at $5 per guest. Visit or call the winery for additional information at http://www.breauxvineyards.com/ or 800-492-9961.
Mediterranean Cellars – Have you tried the Romance wine? – Feb 10-11
If you have not tried their tasty Romance I urge you to do so and pick up a few bottles for Valentines Day. Romance would pair nicely with semi-sweet and milk chocolate. Wonderful family owned winery with stunning views. Visit or call the winery for additional information at http://www.mediterraneancellars.com/ or 540-428-1984.
Pearmund Cellars – Valentine Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Visit Pearmund Cellars to partake in a Chocolate and Dessert Wine Tasting hosted by Chocolaterie Wanders of Manassas. This sounds like a great event and Pearmund Cellars will also be offering three vintages of their dessert wines and releasing their first late harvest Viognier. Fee: $5 and you get to keep the commemorative glass. Also, you will receive ½ a heart at Pearmund, to be completed at sister winery La Grange, which is 10 minutes away. Times: 11am-5pm. Visit or call the winery for additional information at http://www.pearmundcellars.com/ or at 540-347-3475.
Winery at La Grange – Valentines Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Taste history at the charming and enchanting La Grange Winery. There will be an assortment of tasty treats and La Grange award winning wines for your pairing pleasure. Enjoy one of the parlor rooms and sip a glass of wine in front of the fireplace; truly a romantic setting. You can also complete your heart with this stop for a special Valentine Day surprise. Fee: $5 and you get to keep the commemorative glass. Times: 11am-6pm. Visit or call the winery for additional information at http://www.wineryatlagrange.com/ or at 703-753-9360.
Hillsborough Vineyards – Valentines Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Enjoy the spectacular Loudoun views and Chocolate fondue for Valentine’s Day at Hillsborough. There will be decadent chocolate covered fruit paired with Hillsborough’s Ruby and Moonstone wines. Fee: $15 per couple. No reservation. Times: 11am 6pm. Visit or call the winery for additional information at http://www.hillsboroughwine.com/ or at 540-668-6216.
Rappahannock Cellars – Valentines Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Savor award winning wines and the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains while enjoying valentine chocolates and music. Fee: Call for details. Times: 11:30am-5:30pm. Visit or call the winery for additional information at http://www.rappahannockcellars.com/ or at 540-635-9398.
Veramar Vineyards – Valentines Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Enjoy tasty treats and chocolates and a chocolate fountain while enjoying Veramar award winning wines. Fee: $15 per person. Time: Contact Winery. Visit or call winery for additional information at http://www.veramar.com/ or at 540-955-5510.
Gray Ghost Vineyards - Irresistible Chocolates & Cabernet – Feb. 10-11
Gray Ghost will host their 12th annual winery event with a celebration of decadent chocolate desserts and gold-medal winning Cabernets wines. Visit and enjoy unlimited tastings of over 25 chocolate desserts and award winning Cabernets. Fee: $15 per person/includes Valentine glass. Fee: $7/under 21. Times: 11am-5pm. Visit or call winery for additional information at http://www.grayghostvineyards.com/ or at 540-937-4869.
Fox Meadow Winery – Valentines Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Sample chocolate pairings with Fox Meadow’s complementary tasting then pair your favorite wine with chocolates and enjoy the wonderful mountain views. For those who are complete “chocoholics” there will be a special wine and chocolate tasting which will include different types of fine chocolates with Fox Meadows Syrah wine for a nominal fee of $5.00 or purchase a glass of red wine and receive complementary dark and milk chocolates to accompany your wine. Visit winery for additional information at http://www.foxmeadowwinery.com/events.htm .
Willowcroft Farm Vineyards - Valentines Celebration - Feb.11
Sample some of Willowcroft's up and coming reds in barrels along with some fine chocolates. Willowcroft's Operations Manager, Hunter McCulloch, will walk you through their maturing Reds and give background information on how we carefully nurture each and every wine. There will be complimentary chocolates in the Tasting Room as well as a flower for every lady! Fees: $7 per person Time: 1pm-5pm . Visit winery for additional information at http://www.willowcroftwine.com .
Not a chocolate fan? Worry not; Dezel has 2 solid recommendations for you:
Lost Creek Winery - Valentine Soup Weekend – Feb. 10-11
Visit Lost Creek and enjoy a delicious bowl of soup, a glass of wine and a loaf of hot bread while listening to live music by David Duvall and staying warm by the nearby fireplace. Fee: Contact Winery Times: Noon-5pm. Visit or call winery for additional information at http://www.lostcreekwinery.com/ or at 703-443-9836.
Loudoun Valley Vineyards – Winter Soup Day – Feb. 10
Your choice of Santa Fe Black Bean Chili or Texan Chili served with a basket of French bread and glass of wine. Fee: $12.50 per person. Visit winery for additional information at http://members.aol.com/lvwinery1/events.htm .
Have fun mixing and matching and indulging yourself in decadent chocolate treats and Virginia Wine!
Dezel of Virginia Vine Spot