We did the Wine and Chocolate Festival last month in Lodi. This is becoming a tasty Valentine’s Day tradition!
We stumbled on some new wines, art and of course, yummy bites of food. At the Vino Piazza, the wine server let me go behind the wine bar to get a closer look at these sketches from Dumbo. He said the animator was a big fan of Lodi wines.
Everyone looked like they were having a good time at the different wineries.
Still, the national recession was also on the minds of winemakers in the area. They say the economic slowdown was hitting Lodi’s wine industry. Some winemakers talked about consolidating operations in order to stay in the black. Others talked about trying to raise the profile of their wines without cutting into their bottom lines. That makes this Wine and Chocolate Festival critical for wine businesses in the region. Sure, they’re giving away free tastings. However, it’s a chance to make a great impression on new and old vino fans. It prompts them to buy local bottles and to spread the word about their favorite wineries.
We managed to fit in another wine country visit on Valentine’s Day. We did the St. Valentine’s Prix Fixe Dinner at the Girl & Fig in downtown Sonoma. It’s a cozy spot for French food. I loved the fresh flavors and the wine pairings with each entrée.