Red Wine and Chocolate - Yakima Valley Wine Event
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Red Wine and Chocolate

Winemakers Roll Out the Red Carpet on Presidents Day Weekend

February 16-19, 2024

Plan your wine country getaway with someone special for Red Wine and Chocolate Weekend in the Yakima Valley. Sip and savor signature Yakima Valley red wines perfectly paired with delectable chocolates. Warm up with Yakima Valley wineries and enjoy special activities and seasonal savings.

No event passport needed! Simply take your tour of favorite wineries and enjoy the weekend?s special offerings. Here?s a peek at some of the perfect pairings throughout the Yakima Valley.

Make the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center your first stop for more details and recommendations for your visit. While you?re there, pick up something special from local craftsmen and artisans. Check out the Red Wine and Chocolate winery offerings.

Wine Country Lodging How to Pair Red Wine and Chocolate

Red Wine and Chocolate Event Listings

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

Pick up Yakima Valley wine maps, information on the special treats wineries are offering, winery hours, and a comprehensive entertainment listing for your weekend. Shop a variety of Yakima Valley made products in the gift shop, as well as unique souvenir items.

Visitor Centers hours:

Main Visitors Center
Tues - Sat 10:00am - 4:00pm
Closed Sunday and Monday Presidents Day

Please check back often! We update and add event listings as we receive them from our wineries.

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.

Member Wineries of Yakima Valley Tourism participating in Red Wine and Chocolate can submit their event here, to add their food and wine pairings.

How Do You Pair Red Wine and Chocolate?

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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