Enjoy Virginia wine with your Valentine

The year’s most romantic holiday is quickly approaching, and Virginia wineries are offering alternatives to the traditional Valentine’s Day dinner out.

smheart_02On Valentine’s weekend, Feb. 14-16, some wineries will hold special tasting dinners or wine and chocolate pairings, and one is hosting a champagne and pizza celebration. Many of the events will include live music.

“It takes you out of the common box of going out to dinner for Valentine’s Day,” said Lisa Champ, sales manager at White Hall Vineyards in Albemarle County. “Plus, you’re supporting a local business, and it’s a great time to try Virginia wine and get something extra.”

White Hall is hosting its 4th Annual Wine & Chocolate Celebration, which will feature Virginia-based Gearharts Fine Chocolates. Participants will get to sample three different chocolates paired with six wines and listen to local musicians Curtis Prince and Travis Elliott. One of the wines is a Bordeaux that usually isn’t included in tastings at White Hall, Champ said.

Because White Hall is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, guests also will receive a commemorative wine glass with a special piece of chocolate inside.

“It combines two things people love—wine and chocolate—and they get a lot for their money,” Champ said. Tickets are $15 per person and reservations are required.

“For a change of pace, couples might consider a scenic day trip to Virginia’s countryside for great wine and food,” said Tony Banks, a Virginia Farm Bureau Federation commodity marketing specialist. “And Valentine’s weekend is the perfect time to visit Virginia’s wineries and taste some excellent wines and enjoy local fare.”

Winery events across the state can be found at virginiawine.org. Some wineries, like Ingleside Vineyards in Westmoreland County, are celebrating Valentine’s Day early with events on Feb. 8. Ingleside will host a Taste of Wine & Chocolate that day, and Notaviva Vineyards in Loudoun County will host Love Notes – A Valentine’s Cabaret with romantic music.

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