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Niagara Wine Trail vendors pair chocolates with their pours

You can treat your sweetheart to local wines paired with chocolate during the Niagara Wine Trail’s “Be Mine with Wine” event, which has expanded this year to cover two weekends, Saturday and next Sunday and again Feb. 20-21.

The trail’s 22 wineries have teamed up with local chocolatiers to pair their wines with their decadent wares. Gourmet samplings from Stuffed Chocolates LTD are paired with wines at A Gust of Sun Winery; while strawberry-lavender, white and dark chocolate bark will be featured with Sweet Devotion at 810 Meadworks. Look for chocolate truffles at Arrowhead Spring Vineyards; and sea salt toffee pretzel bark will be paired with wines and meads at Black Willow Winery. Raspberry dark chocolate truffles will be offered with wines at Chateau Niagara Winery.

Milk chocolate hearts will be paired with Eveningside Vineyards’ ACE Red; chocolate strawberry cheesecake dip will be offered with Lock 67 or Lock 70 wines at Flight of Five Winery; tuxedo brownies will be paired with Recioto and Freedom Red at Freedom Run Winery; and hand-dipped chocolate-covered s’mores, made with Pinot Noir marshmallows and paired with this wine, will be featured at Long Cliff Winery and Vineyard.

Participants may look for wicked cherry cake with crème at Midnight Run Wine Cellars; milk chocolates paired with Vignoles white wine at Salamanca Estate Winery; hot fudge truffle from Lockport’s Cream and Sugar Café at Schulze Vineyards and Winery; and decadent chocolate sheet cake, from Partyka Farms in Kendall, at Schwenk Wine Cellars.

Chocolate Cabernet and red raspberry Chardonnay wine ice cream will be featured at Spring Lake Winery, where you may also enjoy partner painting at 3 p.m. Saturday, with advance online registration required. Samplings like sea salt and toffee, orange zest and raspberry royale will be offered from Just Chocolates at the Winery at Marjim Manor; and chocolate mousse will be paired with Victorianbourg Wine Estate’s Chocolate Flirtation wine.

Event tickets are valid for all four days of the event, which takes place 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Each ticket includes a wine glass from the starting winery, three tastes of wine and a sweet sample at your choice at 10 different wineries.

Presale tickets are available for $22 per person at the trail’s website, www.niagarawinetrail.com, until 9 p.m. Thursday. Tickets will be available the days of the event for $27. A valid photo ID with proof of age is required to participate in wine tasting. Ticket prices do not include transportation.

The trail strongly recommends advance ticket purchases at the website, and encourages groups to purchase tickets in a single transaction to ensure each participant has the same starting winery. Groups traveling by bus or limo must call and make reservations with each winery on their itinerary in advance of the event. Designated drivers and nondrinker attendees are welcome at the wineries at no charge.

email: niagaranews@buffnews.com