If you’re a local, there are some great events to participate in this weekend. Or, if you live in or around Washington state, these events are worth a weekend trip.
In a recent post, I mentioned the Hurry Up, Spring Arts & Crafts Fair at Glenwood Square this Saturday, February 18, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes more than 50 artisans, live music and wine tasting at Zesta Cucina. The parking lot is sure to be full, so arrive early, carpool or park a few blocks away and walk.
The other highlight this weekend is Red Wine & Chocolate, my hands down favorite Yakima Valley wine event! A few years ago I found myself holding a small chocolate cup full of sweet, heady port. Perfection. Drinking from a chocolate vessel–how poetic is that? Needless to say, you can’t miss when 50 wineries pair their best reds with the yummiest chocolate creations they can get their hands on.
“When pairing wines with chocolate, match lighter, elegantly flavored chocolates with lighter-bodied wines; the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be. A bittersweet chocolate tends to pair well with an intense Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon. The darker the chocolate the more tannins it will display. Pairing darker chocolate with a wine that has firm tannins, the chocolate will often overshadow or cancel out the wine’s tannins on the palate and allow more fruit to show. A sweeter style chocolate such as a semi-sweet dark or a rich milk chocolate is a better match for a younger drinking merlot, pinot noir or blended red wine. White chocolate is the sweetest and is a decadent pairing with a sweet late harvest or ice wine.”
I have a hard time reading that paragraph without losing track of the text and having the word “chocolate” repeat itself over and over in my mind. Mmmm . . .
I wasn’t able to find information on what all 50 participating wineries are offering, but the Rattlesnake Hills website gives details for the 17 wineries included in their appellation:
Agate Field–Passport holders will be invited to join us in our bottling room where you will be treated to a free tasting of our premium wines paired with our specialty appetizers, chocolate covered cherries and our homemade dark chocolate brownies. We will also be offering up to a 20% discounts on many selected wines and up to 50% discount on selected case specials. Hours: 11-5.
Bonair Winery –We invite you to visit us on this special weekend. We will be featuring dark chocolate paired with our wonderful Touriga Port- a perfect indulgence for those cold winter nights ahead of us. Rattlesnake Hills Passport Holders and Elite! Club members get a free reserve tasting of our estate grown red wines (Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon). Plus Bonair Winery’s own Anna and her Chocolates and Confections will be featured. Yum! Hours: 10-5.
Eaton Hill Winery –Eaton Hill Winery will serve our old favorite Gourmet Bean Soup to warm your innards, and Raspberry-infused Chocolate from Patricia’s Chocolate Emporium (Zillah) to enjoy with the wines. We’ll have special from-the-heart discounts. Hours: 10-5.
Horizon’s Edge Winery–Boehm’s chocolate will be paired with the famous New Cream Sherry called “Freebie” Reserve ticket holders receive a Tank Sample and 7% off all wine purchases and 15% off a case. Hours: 11-5.
Knight Hill Winery –Cabernet & Chocolate …We will be barrel-tasting our 2010 Cabernet along with the appropriate percent of Cocoa. We are open from 11-5 Friday – Monday. With a PASSPORT, 2009 reds: Syrah-Sirrah, Mourvedre, Rook’s Red, Roundtable Red are 25% off cases, 20% off 6 bottles and 10% off 1-5 bottles. Hours: 11-5.
Hyatt Vineyards –Come and enjoy Oreo truffles and the release of our 2009 Roza Petit Verdot and 2009 Malbec. Hours: 11-5.
Maison de Padgett Winery–Fresh chocolate fountains will be paired with our 2008 New Release Estate “Cash Cow Reserve” ticket holders receive a free poster with any 3 bottle purchase (one poster per person) and 7% off all wine purchases and 15% off a case. Hours: 11-5.
Masset Winery –Masset Winery will be featuring two types of handmade Belgian Chocolate Truffles to match with our bold, rich red wines. Special pricing on our 2008 Syrah, Basket Press Reserve Red Wine, and amazing case prices on Cabernet Sauvignon. Hours: 11-5
Paradisos del Sol –Hooray! The Under 10 Buck Red is back! Paradisos will offer an eight-course meal for Red Wine & Chocolate. Nothing elaborate, just eight tiny bites of food-three include chocolate, two savory, one sweet-to go with our eight different wines. Sip, Sip, Bite, Sip!
We start off with a dab of Mushroom Pâté and our Rosé Paradiso, followed by a sliver of Brie cheese for the Oyster White, and a bit of Sushi Rice as an accompaniment to our Riesling. Next are our reds-with the new release of our Under 10 Buck Red we are serving Teeny Tiny Tacos with a Chocolate Molé sauce. Paradisos Red is our pizza wine; we would love to have pizza, but it just doesn’t seem to work as a small-bite option, who can eat just one bite? So instead, we have Beans in a Chocolate Adobo Sauce. This is followed by our ever famous Bleu Cheese Dip with the Cabernet Sauvignon. And now we are ready for dessert, two of them! With the Zort, we have Truffles Paradisos (handmade French-style chocolate truffles flavored with Grains of Paradise and raspberries). We suggest you melt this in your mouth rather than bite. Last, but not least, is our Angelica MRS. We have a skosh of pumpkin custard to go with that. We know it is hard to choose which wineries to visit, we hope you come to visit us.
Passport holders receive 10% off your purchase of 2 or more bottles; 30% off bottles and 50% off case purchase on selected wines. Hours: 11-6.
Piety Flats Winery –We will be offering Chocolate Truffles along with our POSH (Port) made with 100% Tempranillo grapes and our complete selection of Red Wines. If all goes well we will be re-introducing our Black Muscat as our Three Muscat Tears is now sold out. Hours: 10-5.
Portteus Vineyards –We will feature fudge brownies by Executive Chef Gregory Masset paired with our wonderful red wines. Hours: 10-5.
Severino Cellars –Back by popular demand-Linda’s famous dark chocolate fudge; easily enjoyed with all of our reds. However, our Severino Red is our favorite. Tasting fee waived to all Passport holders. This weekend you can also enjoy our Severino Red 4 for $40. Hours: 10-6.
Silver Lake Winery at Roza Hills–Grab your favorite wine glass and come join us for the annual Red Wine and Chocolate event. Chocolate fountains will be flowing all day suited with all your dipping needs and specials on red wine paired with a small box of delectable chocolates. Indulge yourself in chocolate and red wine for the weekend!
The cost of the event is $10.00 for the general public and $5.00 for Passport holders. Hours: 10-5.
Steppe Cellars–We will have chocolate to pair with your wine and wine to pair with your chocolate. We will be serving two different chocolate fondues with different percentages of chocolate in each. A variety of dippers will allow you to further vary the flavors and aromas from each. Discover which wines complement which flavors, or use our notes as you sample. We will have a large assortment of sensory “standards” to help you detect the different aromas and flavors in both the wines and the chocolates which we think makes the pairing discoveries even more interesting. Hours: 11-5.
Tanjuli Winery –Tanjuli Winery will be serving an array of fine domestic and foreign chocolates to match our 2007 Malbec, 2006 Petit Verdot and as a special treat from our wine library the 2001 Pinot Noir. Come pull up a bar stool, check out the red wine specials and enjoy the magic of Tanjuli Winery.
Tefft Cellars –We will feature chocolates and truffles from local chocolatier Patricia’s Chocolate Emporium in Zillah. We will pair our beautiful estate grown red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet and Ports with these delightful delicacies. Hours: 10-5.
Two Mountain Winery –We will be releasing a limited quantity of our much sought after 2007 Vinho Vermehlo Port Style wine, paired with our family favorite Chocolate Mousse with raspberry coulis sauce. Hours: 10-6.