Even though this event is tied in with Valentine's Day festivities, I am here to prove that you don't have to be part of a romantic couple to enjoy the annual Red, Wine & Chocolate event!

Despite being the the fifth wheel in my wine tour group (I volunteered to be the designated driver, but I went on the tasting tour with my out-of-town friends), I felt like a lucky lady. It was fun to experience this event with my friends, Mario and Mark, who were visiting from California, and their friends, Katie and Tim, who had traveled all the way from Puyallup.

In order to enjoy this annual Yakima Valley event, you will need the following four components:

1) A PULSE

2) A LOVE for WINE

3) A LOVE for CHOCOLATE

4) A LOVE for WINE, BIGLY

On Saturday, we sipped and sampled our way through delicious reds, whites and ports at some wineries on the Rattlesnake Hills Wine Trail. (A full list of Yakima Valley wineries can be found here.)

I enjoyed autographing a wine glass at Horizon's Edge winery (they thought I was a celebrity, ha, ha, ha)! Other highlights of my wine tour experience: I helped myself to all the free Limoncello Almonds at Silverlake winery and I snuck a couple of those free French Vanilla coffee creamers at the Subway restaurant when we stopped there for sandwiches and chips for lunch. Oh, and I bought some pepperonis and brie to-go from Paradisos del Sol winery, purchased some ginger and Jamaican rum-flavored chocolates from J M Pastries, and treated myself to a tiny sachel of lavender from J. Bell Cellars.

Of course, I purchased a few bottles of wine to take home. I got the Limited Edition Orange Muscat (Portteus), Sparkling Gewürztraminer (Treveri Cellars), and Wishful Thinking Port (Horizon's Edge).

The next day (Sunday), my out-of-town friends ventured by themselves to check out the downtown Yakima local wineries for even more chocolate and wine pairings. I was the party pooper--I stayed at home, took a long nap, drank some of my sparkling bubbly, and caught up on my TV shows, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder, and Homeland.


I can't wait to do this event again next year! Perhaps I'll even shell out the coins to attend the
"Secret Crush" pre-party event, too, like my friends Candice and Laura!