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January 29, 2013

Vol. VIII, Issue No. 2

Dear Virginia Wine Lover,  


February is a busy month for Wine Lovers.  Wineries across the state are featuring Valentine's Day activities.  Sweet events include wine and chocolate pairings, wine and dessert pairings, winemaker dinners and wine and dine escapes.  Be sure to check out the full list in February Events.


We recommend a visit with your Valentine to The Boar's Head in Charlottesville for an overnight stay and dinner at the Old Mill Room. (But, remember, The Boar's Head is not just for Valentine's.) You could be the lucky winner of a romantic winter weekend getaway for two that includes accommodations and dinner at The Boar's Head.  Register below.


You won't want to miss the Virginia Wine Expo on February 19-24 in Richmond.  The hottest winter wine event in the Commonwealth, the Expo provides the best opportunity to learn about, taste and buy Virginia wines. 


We hope you enjoy reading "All About Chocolates" and will sign up to win a box of delicious Spice Rack Chocolates.  We're also accepting entries for the Great Virginia Wine Lover Chili Contest, with the winning recipe to be selected by a well-known chef and featured in the April issue.


Happy Valentine's Day.  And, Cheers to Virginia Wine Lovers

Frank C. Britt 
franks signature blue


- Event of the Month
- The Boar's Head
- Chili Cookoff
- Spice Rack Chocolates
- Events this Month


Virginia Wine Expo 


February 19-24, 2013




This March

Open to the Trade and Public 




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The 2013 Virginia Winery Guide, produced by the Virginia Wine Board Marketing Office, is now available at wineries and tourism centers, as well as many wine shops, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants. 


The guide has been updated and includes 230 wineries, cideries and meaderies, along with a detailed, topographic driving map of Virginia with the winery locations.  Listings include the location, hours, directions and contact information for each winery.


For a copy of the Winery Guide, visit 

Sixth Annual Virginia Wine Expo


February 19-24, 2013

Greater Richmond Convention Center (and Nearby Venues)



For Wine Lovers, this is the place to be!  The Virginia Wine Expo is the hottest winter wine event in the Commonwealth and now firmly established as the premier event in the Mid-Atlantic region. Attendees from across the state and around the country will converge on Richmond for a week-long celebration with the stars of Virginia's wine industry.  The Expo provides the best opportunity all year to learn about, taste and buy Virginia wine, to meet the winemakers and mingle with friends. 


This year's schedule is jam packed with wine tastings, wine and food pairings, dinners, lunches, artisan food events, seminars and live music at venues all around Richmond.  At least 14 events will be held over six days.  New this year is the spectacular Preview Party at The Wine Loft.  Also, Saks Presents: In Good Taste; the Burger Blast; and Zest Fest, an extraordinary evening featuring 20 of the area's best chefs, Virginia wine, silent and live auctions and live music. 




Of course, the centerpiece of the Virginia Wine Expo is the Walk-Around Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday.  Some 60 top Virginia wineries will participate, featuring over 400 selections of wine. Each attendee receives a beautiful Riedel crystal wine glass for tastings.  There will also be samplings of gourmet foods from some of the region's finest restaurants, caterers, and specialty food purveyors.  A special addition this year is the American Cheese Society Tasting Pavilion featuring artisan cheese makers from the East Coast.


For a full schedule, descriptions of events and to purchase tickets, visit the Virginia Wine Expo website:



The Boar's Head in Charlottesville is an exceptional destination, particularly so for a romantic winter weekend.  From a candlelit dinner to a quiet lakeside stroll along a moonlit path, this special weekend is the perfect recipe for romance.  



The package includes:                                                              

  • Two Nights' Accommodations in one of 175 Newly Renovated Guest Rooms                                        
  • Three-Course Candlelit Dinner for Two in The Old Mill Room 
  • Daily Breakfast for Two
  • 25-Minute Massage for Each Person 
  • Resort Fees, Taxes and Gratuities
  • Also full access to the Sports Club, complimentary parking, newspaper, WiFi, and  afternoon pastries in the Ordinary Room. 




Click here for recipe for Charred Sea Scallops with Smoked Tomato Coulis

chili banner


chiliChili is about as American as apple pie, and everyone has a favorite

recipe.  The Chili Contest that we had a couple of years ago was so popular that we decided to repeat it, so we're putting out another call for favorite chili recipes of Wine Lovers.  The winning recipe will be selected by a famous Virginia chef and printed in the April newsletter, plus the winner will receive four (4) tickets to the James River Wine & Music Festival in Lynchburg on May 11. To enter the Great Wine Lover Chili Contest, email your recipe to us at and include "Chili Contest" on the subject line. 


All About Chocolate                            

Mary Schellhammer, Spice Rack Chocolates                                                     



With Valentine's Day right around the corner, everyone's thoughts go to chocolate. I'm not talking about your everyday candy bar here. Instead, I'm talking about quality chocolate, the kind you hide from the kids and maybe even your spouse. I admit I have always loved chocolate but until I started making it myself, I never understood why some chocolate tasted much better than others. Here's my quick course on choosing the best chocolate.


Where does chocolate come from?

First, you need to understand what chocolate is and how it's made. It begins with the small beans found inside football-shaped pods on cacao trees grown in the tropics. Each pod contains from 20 to 50 cream-colored beans, and it takes approximately 400 beans to make one pound of chocolate.  After the beans are dried, crushed and heated, they liquefy and become what is known as chocolate liquor.  


When looking for quality chocolate, read the ingredient list.  The first ingredient should be chocolate liquor.  Sometimes manufacturers replace the liquor with vegetable oil which is why chocolate can range in price from $1 to $20 an ounce. Sugar is cheap, milk is cheap, but chocolate liquor is the most expensive ingredient in chocolate.  Hence, the difference in quality and price.



February 2:  Super Bowl of Wine    

Paradise Springs Winery (Clifton)

Blind tasting of five Paradise Springs wines against five global counterparts.  Interactive tasting with audience participation, discussion and sampling of 10 wines.  Lite fare.  Reservations required.


February 2:  Blue Flight Special Tasting

Bluemont Vineyard (Bluemont)

Try something new:  Pair five wines with five gourmet cupcakes from specialists at Shugar.


February 2:  Vineyard Tour & Tasting

Doukenie Winery (Purcellville)

Learn scientific and technical details of winemaking and vineyard management during indoor/outdoor tour with Leanne, Doukenie's geologist.  Wine tasting and discussion in the barrel room follows.  Reservations suggested.


February 2-3:  Wine & Soup Weekend

Veramar Vineyard (Berryville)

Take the chill off as you sit and relax in front of the fireplace with a hot, freshly prepared bowl of soup, warm baguette and glass of wine.  Reservations suggested.


February 3:   Chili Weekend

Gray Ghost Vineyards (Amissville)

Enjoy a bowl of hearty venison chili and a glass of wine of your choice.  Reservations are recommended.

February 6-9:  Wine & Dine Winter Getaway                     

The Inn at Meander Plantation (Locust Dale) & Mayhurst Inn (Orange)

Two night stay at either Inn includes complimentary bottle of Virginia wine, plantation breakfast each morning, five-course dinner with wine pairings at Meander, certificates for tastings at local wineries.  A sweetheart offer.

February 7:  Winter Wine Class about Reds of the World

Pearmund Cellars (Broad Run)

Learn about wine regions of the world and what characteristics each may have as a result of climate, processing and stylistic choices in production.  Reservations required.


February 8:  Bacchus Wine and Food Festival

bacchusVirginia Living Museum (Newport News)A night of myths and legends with a variety of live entertainment, fabulous food selections,  varied wine tastings and a huge silent auction.  Proceeds benefit the Museum.


February 8-9:  Who Done It?

Attimo Winery (Christiansburg)

Join in an interactive game filled with fun for the adventurous.  The winery is the scene of a crime, and someone will die and the survivors have to find out who done it and why.


February 8-11:  Romancing the Fox  fox

Three Fox Vineyards (Delaplane)

Share a bottle of wine with the one you love and let the romance of Three Fox warm your heart and soul. Weekend includes pairing of wines with olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars by Olio.


February 8-17:  Chocolate and Wine Pairing

Paradise Springs Winery (Clifton)

Paradise Springs' signature chocolates paired specifically with each wine.  Reservations required for groups of eight or more.



February 9:  Mardi Gras Celebration 

Cooper Vineyards (Louisa)

A popular annual event with live music, homemade jambalaya, King Kake, beads and beads and lots more beads.  Order tickets online and save.


Breaux Vineyards (Purcellville)

February 9:  Samedi Gras 

Breaux Vineyards (Purcellville)

A Cajun celebration of the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras.  Wine tasting, dancing, king cake and live Zydeco music.  Dress in Mardi Gras style with your favorite beads and masks.


February 9:  Love is in the Air!

Bogati Bodega (Round Hill)

Delectable items to dip into the chocolate fountain and sparkling wine to sip while listening to romantic music.



February 9:  Yoga and Wine

Bluemont Vineyard (Bluemont)

Perfect pairing includes Fireside, Mountain Top Meditation & Practice combined with Barrel Room tour and tasting.  Light fare lunch follows. Reservations required.


February 9:  Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

Veramar Vineyard (Berryville)

Savor wine and quality time with your Valentine as you enjoy delectable treats dipped in the chocolate fountain and a chance to win a diamond.  Reservations required.


February 9:  Winter Wine Night & BBQ Dinner

The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek (Leesburg)

BBQ dinner of beef brisket or North Carolina style pulled pork along with your choice of wines.  Live music by Ken Wenzel performing acoustic solo show.  Reservations required.


February 9:  Be Mine with Wine  keswick

Keswick Vineyards (Keswick)

Special wine and dessert tasting for a Valentine's Day indulgence.  Discover how luscious confections complement each wine.


February 9:  Mardi Gras Lunch

The Hague Winery (Hague)

Celebrate Mardi Gras with authentic New Orleans dishes by Charlie Santangelo of Luna Restaurant.  Reservations required.


February 9 & 16:  Valentine's Wine Dinner delfosse

DelFosse Vineyards and Winery (Faber)

Exquisite six-course dinner paired with DelFosse reserve wines, live music and dancing.  Reservations required.


February 13:  Murder Mystery Dinner  threefox

Three Fox Vineyards (Delaplane)

Four course dinner with the audience participating in solving the mystery.  Presented by Choices by Shawn.  Sure to be a sell out; reservations at 703-385-5433.


February 13-16:  Wine & Dine Winter Getaway

The Inn at Meander Plantation (Locust Dale) 

& Mayhurst Inn (Orange)

Two night stay at either Inn includes complimentary bottle of Virginia wine, plantation breakfast each morning, five-course dinner with wine pairings at Meander, certificates for tastings at local wineries.  A sweetheart offer.

February 14:  Valentine's Dinner 


Barboursville Vineyards (Barboursville)

For the happiest occasion, an auspicious feast designed by Palladio Restaurant Chef Melissa Clos Hart and Sommelier Alessandro Medici.  An event always in high demand.  Reservations required.


February 14:  Winemaker's Dinner

Veritas Vineyards & Winery (Afton)

Celebrate with your Valentine sweetheart.  Five-course, wine paired dinner followed by dancing to the music of Saddleback Hall.  Reservations required.



February 14-15:  Valentine's Dinner

Pearmund Cellars (Broad Run)

Something special to do with your loved one.  Five-course paired wine dinner with fabulous menu including Calamari Ceviche and Petit Beef Medallions.  Reservations required.


February 14-16:  Just Married?

Peaks of Otter Winery (Bedford)

If you're just married, receive a free Valentine gift. Sit by the fire and taste the wines.  Sweethearts love "grandma's wines".


February 14 & 16:  Valentine's Wine Dinner  paradise

Paradise Springs Winery (Clifton)

A popular annual event.  Cost determined by choice of:  Regular seating in main tasting room; VIP seating in barrel room; or chef's table seating.  Menu on the website.  Reservations required.


February 15:  Firelight Friday

Barren Ridge Vineyards (Fishersville)

Upbeat live music by Bootsie Daniels, wonderful wine and gorgeous views.  Reservations required for groups of 10 or more.


February 15:  Wine and Chocolate Adventure

Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery (Bedford)

Wine maker Wendy Furrow-Scott and Chocolatier Stacy Noland pair six artisan wines and chocolates and lead you through the wine aroma and the chocolate flavor wheels.


stonewall February 16:  Winter Wine Festival  

Stonewall Jackson Hotel (Staunton)

Enjoy a winter escape to historic downtown Staunton and the Stonewall Jackson Hotel.  Festival features 18 Virginia wineries and local artisan fare.  Tickets available online. 


February 16:  Special Wine Dinner

868 Estate Vineyards (Purcellville)

Share your love in a special way with intimate dinner for two in the tasting room.  Five-courses prepared by Chef Author Clark showcasing local specialties and seductive chocolate dessert.


February 16-17:  Chocolate & Cabernet Tasting

Breaux Vineyards (Purcellville)

Celebrate with your sweetheart and enjoy a glass of Cabernet with hand-rolled truffles and imported chocolates.  Pairings on the hour by reservation.


February 16-17:  Sweet Heart's Weekend

Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery (Nellysford)

Warm up your sweetie with meads and "true to the fruit" wines.  Food samples and treats for each guest.


fox meadow

February 16-17:  Chocolate Daze 

Fox Meadow Winery (Linden)

Special wine and chocolate pairings made extra special with a sweetheart tasting that includes a rose and box of chocolates.  Reservations recommended.


February 16-17:  Irresistible Chocolates & Cabernet

Gray Ghost Vineyards and Winery (Amissville)

The 19th annual celebration is the original and most popular Valentine winery event in Virginia.  Unlimited tastings of 25 decadent chocolate desserts and gold-medal winning Cabernets.


February 19-24:  Virginia Wine Expo

Richmond Convention Center

Over 60 Virginia wineries, specialty food and wine.  This is the best opportunity to learn about, taste and buy Virginia wine.  An extraordinary event featuring the area's best chefs, auctions and live music over the course of the five days.  See website for full details.

mayhurst  February 20-23:  Wine & Dine Winter Getaway 

The Inn at Meander Plantation (Locust Dale) 

& Mayhurst Inn (Orange)

Two night stay at either Inn includes complimentary bottle of Virginia wine, plantation breakfast each morning, five-course dinner with wine pairings at Meander, certificates for tastings at local wineries.  A sweetheart offer.

February 21:  Winter Wine Class on Food Pairing

Pearmund Cellars (Broad Run)

Why do certain foods work best with different wines?  Get better understanding of the theories behind food pairing and how it works. Reservations required.


February 22-24:  Field to Fest  primland

Primland (Meadows of Dan)

A weekend of shooting, great food, special wines and esteemed guests sharing their knowledge.  Includes accommodations, receptions, meals, food and beverage gratuities and scheduled hunting activities.  Full information on website


February 23:  Mid-Winter Celebration

Hartwood Winery (Fredericksburg)

An afternoon of good wines and entertainment to shake off the "winter blues." Wine tastings, live music, light hors d'oeuvres and tours.  Unicorn Winery joins in the celebration. 


February 23:  Winter Wine Night & Asian Dinner

The Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek (Leesburg)

Grille Thai-style Chicken or Salmon Teriyaki paired with Lost Creek wines.

Entertainment by Peter James.  Reservations required.

About Events:  As our information comes from many sources, we recommend you verify dates and times, as well as costs and reservations that may be required.  (We are not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate information.) 


If you would like to submit an event, send details (what, where and when, as well as contact information) to no later than the 10th of the month prior to the event.  


© 2006 Britt Marketing & Public Relations
Official Virginia Wine Lover™ is not affiliated with or published by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine 

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