Love, Chocolate & BC Wine

Quails' Gate Old Vines Foch 600

Quails’ Gate Old Vines Foch with salted caramel chocolate bar


Oh, Valentine’s Day. Your humble beginnings in the 15th century as a day of hand-written love notes has become a spectacle, filled with mass-produced greeting cards with dollar-store sentiments. It can be difficult to find anything that resonates as being from the heart. But we can try to keep love alive – with wine.

February 10th marked the second year that West Side Wine Trail winery members opened their doors to share the love: of wine, food, and chocolate. EAT was invited on a tour with sommelier Shalyn Syrjanen-Ross to sample our way through four wineries, several wines, and a decadent selection of tasty treats. We picked up a few handy Valentine’s Day wine tips along the way.


Icewine or dessert. Not both.

It might seem counter-intuitive to keep them separated, but your palate will thank you. Sugars in icewine clash with those in desserts, making each taste much less pleasant. Tip: try a port-style wine like Quails’ Gate 2009 Old Vines Foch with salted caramel and chocolate – or skip straight to the icewine as a solo act.

Every day is special.

The day of love is the perfect time to share that special bottle you have tucked away. If meat is on the menu, decant a big red blend – or a grape less celebrated, as long as the wine has plenty of body and a few of those tooth-coating tannins. Tip: Mt, Boucherie 2009 Blaufrankisch loves lamb – and the crackle of a fireplace.

Keep it simple, silly.

If you think it’s too much, it just might be. When you’re overwhelmed by wine pairings, take one out of the equation and recalculate. Tip: A glass of sparkling wine makes a great appetizer and can fare well with a range of pre-dinner snacks. Chicken and salmon cozy up to Pinot Noir quite easily (watch the seasonings), and oysters adore Sauvignon Blanc.

Friends are love, too.

This is a day for the people you love, especially friends. My favourite best-friend-wine has always been Pinot Noir, while a glass of Riesling can get me through just about anything. So if you’re not living a greeting-card version of Valentine’s Day, that’s perfectly okay. Tip: to ease heartache, try Rollingdale 2008 La Droit or Little Straw Vineyards 2011 Old Vines Auxerrois, don your most comfortable jeans, and spend time with that best friend.

Written By:

Jeannette is EAT's Okanagan writer.\r\n\r\nWith her rural Canadian roots and love of grand experiences, Jeannette is equal \r\n\r\nmeasures country and city. Since moving from Vancouver to the Okanagan in 2007, \r\n\r\nshe quit ...

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