THE THING ABOUT VALENTINE'S DAY, as in the general concept of it, is that the occasion is mostly associated with two particular times on the clock. The biggest time we think of when we think of the 14th day of February is evening, around 7 o'clock, when couples are starting to take their dinner seats and ponder if they're going to go red or white. (Red, right, because hearts and balloons and stuff? Right.) The other time of day you're apt to get a Valentine's feel? This one's a bit trickier, but we'll vote mid-morning, if Feb. 14 falls on a weekday. That's when flowers and singing telegrams and special chocolates start to show up at various offices. But a time of day that needs some Valentine's love -- and probably the love from a lot of other holidays, too -- is 4:30 in the afternoon. Because, no offense 4:30, but not too much is afoot, except the late-in-the-day yawns and the evening-plan-making. Wine Country Walking Tours, however, is gathering the in-need-of-love time close and making it something fun, at least over the course of Valentine's Weekend, and at least around the hub of Healdsburg. It's the "A Taste of Romance" tour, and it is all about pairing those observing love's holiday with some yummy tastes and sips around town.
FEB. 12, 13, AND 14... are the 2016 dates, or Friday through Sunday. You can pick whatever date you'll be in the area, then book your spot. What will happen then? You'll meet up at the gazebo, the famous one in a lot of photos, and then proceed to hop around different, walk-there spots, sampling "award-winning wines, decadent chocolates, sweets, and delicious savory bites" along the way. It'll all wrap by 7ish, so if you want to go do the sit-down, tablecloth-fancy dinner, that can still be in your plans, too. Or maybe all of that invigorating walking and excellent snacking will have sated your appetite? Think of the tour as a lavish first-courser to a sumptuous holiday spent in a food-forward town. The price is $49 per person, and you'll get a sense of what's happening at some of the eateries around Healdsburg. Who says 4:30 in the afternoon isn't the coolest time of day? True, a cup of coffee is often required, but if we can swing it so we're in a charmer of a town, on a tasty tour, that is all the better.