RED WINE & CHOCOLATE

A PERFECT PAIRING
February 12-15, 2016

Yakima Valley wineries roll out the red carpet for Red Wine and Chocolate lovers February 12-15, 2016. Winemakers pair delectable confections with their premium red wine, setting the stage for romance in the beautiful Yakima Valley countryside. Take the quick trip to the Yakima Valley every Presidents' Day weekend to enjoy wine, chocolate, and each other.

VisitYakima.com invites red wine lovers to come celebrate Yakima Valley wine again or for the first time to celebrating the red wines of Yakima Valley. Travel to Yakima Valley wine country today to taste your favorites.

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Red Wines of the Yakima Valley


RED WINE & CHOCOLATE Weekend Events

Make the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center your First Stop this Weekend

The Visitor Center will be offering tastes of "Made in the Yakima Valley" products, such as, Chukar Cherries Chocolates, Mick’s Pepper Jellies, It’s All About the Pretzels. Shop the variety of Yakima Valley made products in the gift shop, as well as unique gift items. Pick up wine maps, information on special treats winery’s are offering, hours, and entertainment listing for your weekend.

Visitor Center hours:
Monday - Saturday 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.
Sunday 10:00am - 4:00pm.
Monday Presidents Day 9:00a.m. - 4:00p.m.

Printable Version of Red Wine and Chocolate Events

The events listings above only contain members of Yakima Valley Tourism. If you would like to receive information regarding membership, please contact the Director of Member Services at (509) 575-3010.

HOW DO YOU PAIR Red Wine and Chocolate?

Choc Late Wine Cupcakes

Recently featured on frommers.com, try this to-die-for red wine and chocolate cupcake recipe below. Courtesy of the White House Cafe and B&B.

Chocolate Wine Cupcakes

1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
5 oz chocolate chips
1/2 c boiling water
2 sticks soft butter
4 eggs
1 1/4 c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1/3 c milk
3/4 c Yakima Valley

Mix together in mixing bowl. Pour into cupcake liners and bake at 350 for approx 20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Whisk together
4oz cream cheese
1/2 c soft butter
pinch of salt
approx 2 c powdered sugar
1/8 c Barrel Springs ’08 Merlot

Learn the basics:

Both wine and chocolate can be very complex on their own, so keep it simple with three basics:

1. The wine you select must be perceived as sweeter than the chocolate.

Since chocolate coats your mouth when you eat it, you'll need a wine that's big enough to cut through its richness. Try looking for flavors in both that are similar to one another. Use your taste buds. The most important factor in all this, as in all pairings of food and wine, is that only you can decide what tastes best. Use the following guidelines to help you get started, and then let your taste buds lead the way.

What to Pair With White Chocolate:

White chocolate, though not a true chocolate due to its absence of cacao, is a super-sweet blend of sugar, milk and cocoa butter. Try a Riesling or Gewürztraminer.

What to Pair With Milk Chocolate:

Milk chocolate, which contains a small amount of cacao, is the sweetest of the real chocolates with its high sugar content. Remember rule one and choose a sweeter wine than chocolate, or the pairing might leave your mouth tasting like a rubber band. For milk chocolate, your best match might just be a sweet and tasty tawny port. But if you find the right bottle of pinot noir, you won't be disappointed.

What to Pair With Semisweet Chocolate:

Chocolate that contains about 50 to 70 percent cacao is known as semisweet, the sweetest of the dark chocolates. With tones that are nutty, spicy, or earthy, semisweet dark chocolate has a balanced and less sweet aftertaste than milk or white chocolate. Cabernets or Bordeauxs will tend to bring out any fruity or peppery nuances in the chocolate, while a ruby port is considered a classic pairing with semisweet chocolate.

What to Pair With Bittersweet Dark Chocolate:

The richest, most intensely flavored chocolates are known as the bittersweet darks, which contain the least amount of sugar, and the greatest amount of cacao - anywhere from about 71 and 100 percent. Their bitter, roasted flavoring is so intense, that it really needs a strong red wine to balance the taste. Zinfandels are the go-to when it comes to pairing wine and bittersweet dark. Since these chocolates are the least sweet, your pallet of appropriate pairings is much wider, meaning you can also experiment with many of the sweeter wines like ports and muscats.

2. Taste the wine, then the chocolate.

Once you've got a great pairing, it's nothing but bliss. Start by tasting the wine, allowing its flavors to fully saturate your mouth. Then take a bite of the chocolate, letting it slowly melt on your tongue.

3. Sip the wine once again,

and you might never consider having wine without chocolate ever again.

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