Spend Presidents' Day Weekend in Yakima Valley Wine Country
February 14-17, 2020
Yakima Valley wineries roll out the red carpet for Red Wine and Chocolate lovers every February. 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.
The Yakima Valley 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. Check out the Red Wine and Chocolate winery offerings.
Red Wine and Chocolate festivities officially begin on Saturday 2/15. Some of our wineries kick things off early with offerings on Friday 2/14. Take a look at the event listings to see which days they are celebrating.
Red Wine and Chocolate Event Listings
Please check back often for more updated Red Wine listings. More listings will be added as we get closer to the event date.
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?
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.