Valentine’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate perfect partnerships, including wine and chocolate. But you don’t need to venture to California to find award-winning vino or fly all the way to Switzerland to sample the world’s best chocolate. There’s plenty that pairs well with your palate right in your backyard.
Celebrate romance by turning one of the following three combos into your irresistible third wheel:
Petite Sirah and Dark Chocolate
The Balistreri 2018 Talbott Vineyard Petite Sirah hails from Grand Valley, Colorado (located along the Colorado River and deemed the “new Sonoma” by Food and Wine magazine). The wine is rich with spicy pepper and fruity hints of pomegranate, raspberry, cranberry, and cherry. It was given a rating of 91 by Wine Enthusiast, which designates it as a “wine of superior character and style.”
The tartness of the tannins pairs well with rich foods, particularly dark chocolate that’s potent in cocoa. Moksha offers plenty of semi-dark and dark selections, as well as in-shop tasting and hosting kits so you can spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart and your sweet tooth.
Merlot with Milk Chocolate
Maison La Belle Vie Winery 2018 Merlot hails from Palisade, Colorado where the only thing that rivals the grapes are the peaches. This merlot is earthy and smooth without overpowering the senses. It’s a well-balanced vintage with a long finish, spice, and fruit-forward flavors. The winery also sells high-end pinot noir, malbec, and cabernet (among others).
While red wine is often in cahoots with dark chocolate, you can pair this vintage with milk chocolate, as well as pretty much any chocolate dessert. Chocolove sells a wide variety of treats up to the task, including a range of chocolate bars, salted caramel bites, almond butter candies, peanut butter cups, and more.
Graciano and Truffles
Graciano is a Spanish grape with a low yield, making this wine relatively rare and not always easy to find. With hints of blackberry and spice, it’s unique and versatile with a subtle sweetness that pairs well with fruit-filled truffles. Piece, Love, & Chocolate offers over 50 flavors, upping the odds that you’ll find a winning combination. If truffles aren’t your favorite, a chocolate cake makes an appetizing alternative.
The BookCliff Vineyards 2018 Graciano made the 2021 Colorado Governor’s Cup Collection, which celebrates the wines that “best represent the Colorado wine industry.” Although their family-owned vineyard is in Palisades, BookCliff has a tasting room in Boulder that’s open Thursday through Sunday.
Grab your go-to drinking glass and kiss Hershey’s goodbye; let’s toast our local favorites! To savor Valentine’s Day in more ways than one, you don’t need to look outside the state. Finding a delicious duo nearby is a piece of cake….and a piece of grape. 😉