Valentine’s Day: Inspiring ideas paired with wine
Is Valentine’s Day foiling you? Have you run out of clever, romantic new ideas? Have you tried to make plans, only to be shut out from securing a reservation? Cheer up, lover!
Although Melrose Vineyard in Roseburg has already sold out its Feb. 14th event, other Southern Oregon wineries and wine-focused restaurants have options for you from Friday through Sunday.
As the people of Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point proclaim in emails this time of year: LOVE, Love, love!!!!!
Here is a sampling of inexpensive, inspiring and highly romantic offerings:
Schmidt Family Vineyards in Grants Pass is presenting its traditional chocolate affair with local candy makers handing out samples and a special chocolate dessert pairing: a dense chocolate torte with a mascarpone cheese frosting (with a ground black pepper kick) paired with its World of Wine-winning Syrah. Wine tasting fee of $5
Quady North in Jacksonville is passing out Lillie Belle Farm’s chocolates and its Quady chocolate pastilles paired with Elysium Black Muscat dessert wine and the Starboard Batch 88. There will also be previews of the 06 Steelhead Syrah, 5-7 p.m. Friday.
Roxyann Winery launches the love weekend with a showing of the movie “MerLove” (commonly referred to as the rebuttal to the Merlot-hating main character Miles in “Sideways”) at 6:30 p.m. on Friday ($5). In the Tasting Room from noon-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, the staff will be pouring its rarely shared 2003, 2004, 2005 Parsons’ Reserve ($75 for a bottle; only 125 cases made). A vertical flight is $15.
Edenvale Winery is hosting wine tasting by candlelight in its Voorhies Mansion Carriage House in Medford 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For sale are specially designed wine-and-truffle packages: six assorted handmade truffles by Branson’s Chocolates of Ashland matched with a 2003 Cabernet Franc ($50; $70 with two Riedel Magnum glasses) or a 2004 Heritage Red ($30; $50 with two glasses) or a 2005 Diamante Bianco with white truffles ($37.00; $57 with glasses).
Edenvale’s Ashland Enoteca is offering Valentine’s special of Pinots, Ports and Chocolate noon-4 p.m. on Sunday with live classical harp music by Mary Vannice and a special menu of a tapas and appetizers.
Folin Cellars of Gold Hill is pairing wines with traditional and nontraditional aphrodisiac treats like homemade truffle potato chips and maple and cayenne pepper pecans from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday at its Carlton Tasting Room (118 West Main Street). Contact Carole Stevens at (503) 349-9616 or via email@example.com for more information.
Illahe Vineyards in Dallas will be releasing its 2009 Viognier, pouring limited Pinot Noirs (including the 2007 Grand Reserve Pinot Noir (in which only 25 cases were produced) and barrel tasting its 2007 Tempranillo Port paired with handmade chocolate 11a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Tasting fee $10
Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden’s winemakers Bill & Barbara Steele will unveil their 2008 Grenache 74 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Jacksonville Tasting Room.
Devitt Winery in Jacksonville is pouring its now half-priced Aggie Dog White, Shiraz Blush and The Butler Did It rose.
Agate Ridge Vineyard is hosting a party in its Eagle Point Tasting Room with wine tasting and appetizers 11 a.m.- 4p.m. Saturday. Representatives from Faux Name Brand Purses and Silpada Sterling Silver Jewelry will be there to tempt you to buy for your loved one.
Winter’s Hill Vineyard in Dayton is combing wine, cheese and romance. Rod and Melissa Volbeda, the owners and cheese makers of the Willamette Valley Cheese Company, are making a fondue to go with the newly released 2008 Pinot Blanc noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Troon Vineyard in Grants Pass is “puttin’ on the ritz” with $5 tastings and delicious snacks from the VinoLab 1 p.m.-4 p.m. On Sunday, singer Lanea Patterson will perform.
Daisy Creek Vineyard is offering a Sunday Valentine’s Day Supper with Oyster stew ($10) and $5 glasses of wine starting at 6 p.m. at the Artisan Tasting Room in Central Point.
Cuckoo’s Nest Cellars is releasing its 2009 Fizze Early Muscat and hosting free tastings at Harry & David Country Village in Medford and Gary West Meats in Jacksonville 11 a.m.-4 p.m. “The wine is quite versatile,” says winemaker Bryan Wilson. “Most folks think of it a dessert wine, yet with the naturally low alcohol (7%) and the fabulous effervescent sweet Muscat flavors, it makes a great brunch wine, aperitif and a wonderful gift…for Valentine’s Day!” He recommends it be served with fresh fruit, light fruit-based pastries and White Stilton with ginger and mango. But not chocolate. “Strawberries dipped in white chocolate do work,” he says. Cuckoo’s Nest staff will also be serving their famous melon shooters: Cantaloupe balls marinated in the Muscat. “People go nuts over them and seeing as though we are from the Cuckoo’s Nest…why not?” asks Wilson.
Madrone Mountain is hosting an ambitious, limited-seating “Not Just For Dessert Anymore” wine dinner [read about it here] at 38 Central in Medford on Saturday. On Valentine’s Day, the Artisan Tasting Room in Central Point will continue its Depression Session (held every Sunday in the winter) with an Oyster Stew dinner and Pots du Chocolate.
Say Madrone Mountain owner/winemaker Don Mixon when he’s rhapsodizing about sweet wines: “Sugar connects with our hearts. It moves us in ways that are not learned, but are instinctual, passed down from the days when one of the tribe discovered a bee’s nest and its accompanying honey pot!”
On that note, Happy Valentine’s Day!