SWEET SETTING: Consuming chocolate in the outdoors? No problem. We've done it before and will gladly do it again. Same with a car, a train, and a bus. We've also consumed chocolate within an actual chocolate shop, which seems rather meta, until we explain that we were actually sampling and it would not have been polite to step out to the sidewalk to nosh on the gratis bon bons. But biting into the darkly delicious stuff inside a low-lit barrel room? Why, that seems like an ideal pair-up between setting and snack. That's one reason we're feeling sweet over the Wine & Chocolate Fantasy at the Rodney Strong Vineyards in Healdsburg. Another reason? Why, "wine" is in the name. And one more? It's happening the weekend before the weekend before Valentine's Day 2012, meaning you can get that particular party started basically when February begins.
AND WHEN WE SAY WEEKEND... We mean Saturday, Feb. 4. A ticket is $65 (that's per person), and the event is "sure to sell out," says the site, and, we believe it, because, well, everything we just said above. Wine and chocolate. Hearts and fantasy. Low-lit snackage. Also, "three single vineyard cabernets" will be on the pour, says the Vineyards, and that ups the day's cachet immensely. Doesn't your Valentine want this? Don't you? You can pretend you're doing it strictly for your dearest, when you, too, will benefit.
Photos: Rochelle Letasi