Aaron Mendoza
February 8, 2013 | MIscellaneous Wine Fun! , Wine Country Travel | Aaron Mendoza

The Idiot's Guide to Valentine's Day: Part 1

There is no holiday more daunting, scary and intimidating than Valentine's Day.  It isn't that the flowers, the chocolates and the teddy bears cause me nightmares, it's the stress of having to plan the perfect day for that perfect someone. Should I take my date to a romantic candle-lit dinner? Or, should I cook a delicious dinner for two, complete with two beautiful glasses of wine? (Disclaimer: this would never happen because I don't think I could cook a properly delicious Valentine's Day dinner for two) The possibilities are endless, but nothing ever seems quite right.

Then something magical happened. I realized that wineries, restaurants and hotels offer exciting and really interesting Valentine's Day events, or specials, for people who are frightened by the idea of planning the perfect Valentine's Day. The idea of taking your special someone to a romantic getaway at a hotel, or a perfectly cooked dinner at a restaurant or winery is heaven sent and I, for one, am glad that there are people who can do the planning and hard work, while I enjoy the “romance” of the moment.

So without further ado, here is Touring & Tasting's foolproof guide to Valentine's Day:

1. Why cook a so-so dinner when you could have a professionally made, romantically inspired Valentine's Day dinner? Wente Vineyards in Livermore, California has just the fix for those men who give less-than-inspired performances in the kitchen. Executive Chef Matt Greco has created a romantic and deliciously inspired four course meal for all Valentine's Day couples who visit Wente's Restaurant. Roasted lobster fricassee, chocolate grenache tart and paired Wente Vineyards' wines make this Valentine's Day dinner a must see, must taste for any couple still searching for that perfect Valentine's experience. But, the night doesn't have to end after dinner. Spend a romantic evening at Wente's Livermore neighbor, the luxurious and beautiful Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa. Spa treatments, wine tastings and beautiful Livermore Valley views await all who decide to spend Valentine's Day, or Valentine's weekend at the Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort & Spa. 

There is nothing more special for that special someone than some specially made wine bottles. Etched wine bottles are the perfect Valentine's Day gift for two very important reasons: one, it is wine and it will always be amazing and two, an etched wine bottle is something that can be shared with that special someone and will always be a reminder of that one perfect Valentine's Day in 2013. St. Francis Vineyards, from Sonoma, California, has created these incredibly unique wine bottles that have been specially etched with those cute Valentine's Day phrases we've all grown to...enjoy. This is the perfect gift to let that special someone know that no regular bottle of wine will do on Valentine's Day, only beautifully etched, Sonoma County wines will suffice for the special day.

This next recommendation is for those readers that are more “culinarily” inspired than others. But, lets also not forget that the effort that goes into cooking on Valentine's Day is certainly appreciated and luckily for me, and most of the male race, Touring & Tasting has a few recipes that even the most amateur chef could complete. As someone who adores a good breakfast/brunch, there is a recipe for a delicious looking“Honor Mansion Baked Eggs Benedict” that I am dying to try. What better way to show that special person in your life how special they are by waking up at the crack of dawn and preparing them an awesome breakfast! I know I would love that kind of treatment. There are tons of other great recipes, from the Allison Inn & Spa's “Jory Chocolate Pinot Noir Cake” to more savory dishes like Monticello Vineyard's “Basil Stuffed Chicken Breasts”.

Valentine's Day is a special day for all of those special people in your life. Treat them right with a well thought out gift, adventure, or dinner! At the very least open a bottle of wine with them. Nothing says “I appreciate your presence” like a great glass of wine!


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