I’ve decided that just about anything can either cure you or kill you in certain amounts. Valentines Day is one of those annual celebrations where I think that moderation can be a handy thing. A little Eros for the soul just days before the beginning of the Lenten season where we purge ourselves is a good thing. After all, one day of frolicking with your lover, eating rich foods, and drinking good wine can’t hurt you. Can it?
My thinking on this has been upset in a positive way this past few years. I personally believe it is a part of the feminist movement or something, but I’m not going to complain. Now, research is conclusively finding in repeated studies that both red wine, and chocolate will cure everything from cancer to the common cold.
Just kidding! But, seriously, there is a lot of really interesting research coming out that is showing that both cocoa solids, and certain antioxidants found in red wine will reduce cancer risk and heart disease. My immediate reaction was to go out and fill the hot tub with Cabernet Sauvignon and fudge sauce and go on a backyard diving expedition. Thank God my wife stopped me just short of putting on my Speedo.
It seems that about a ½ a glass of wine, and a piece or two of extra dark chocolate are all it takes to create a successful health scenario in the average adult in most medical studies. So, my conclusion is that this Valentines Day is a great day to catch up on the lack of chocolate and wine that you’ve been missing over these past years, and to make up for any that you miss in the next few weeks during your Lenten devotion.
With that, I want to make a few suggestions, if I may, for making this Valentines Day a truly red wine and chocolate holiday. First, find some really good chocolate. Not Hershey bars, or some cheap chocolate in a heart shaped box.
No…I’d suggest going to the specialty chocolate section of the grocery store or the other stores in town that offer really nice truffles or other confections. There are several in the area. If you can, I’d suggest getting chocolate with a rating of 70% or higher cocoa. I’ve recently seen several confectioners providing chocolate samplers from different regions in the world.
Second, I’d head over to the wine section. Just like with the chocolate I would stay away from the labels that say Boones Farm or Mogen David. Those aren’t real red wines even if they look that way through the glass. I would purchase a dark red such as a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, a spicy red such as a Sangiovese or Zinfandel, and a light red such as a Pinot Noir.
Now for the romance! Pour a little of each wine into separate glasses. Lay out the chocolate pieces on a platter or trays. Be sure to keep the bottles and the wrappers handy so you can identify what it is you are eating and drinking. Be sure to swirl the wines, and breathe deeply to experience the esters in both the wines and the chocolates. For a really romantic experience blindfold your lover and feed them the different samples. Clothing is optional based on your own imagination.
Happy Valentines Day!!