Aren’t the best discoveries accidental? Well, this one was for one of us. It started with a temptation that was too much for me. Picture this: a giant glass bowl overflowing with candy hearts. Yep, the ones we all love – pure sugar and all those fun sayings. It is the seasonal treat that just beckons you to grab a pal to sit down and start comparing notes. “Oh, classic, Be Mine,” I said. “Kiss Me,” he said. And on and on, we went through the top layer of candy in that bowl. Guilt? Oh no. I had googled conversation hearts years ago. They are fat free. We sat happy in our sugar fog until I innocently asked, “What romantic getaway do you have planned for us for Valentine’s Day?” “Yum. Yum,” he said. “What?” “Recipe 4 Love,” he said. “What?” “Go over to the bar cabinet and open the right side door,” he instructed.
There it was. An elegant bottle of Marquette, one of Carlos Creek Winery’s medal winners winking at me with a big red bow and a small pink card tucked underneath its base. Within that lovely bottle was my favorite sweetheart of a red heavy with aromas of cherry and clove. “Open it,” he called. So I did open both the bottle and the card. It was a total cupid move on his part. The card contained a hand-written invitation to hang out for a wine tasting at Carlos Creek Winery on a winter’s Saturday afternoon promising live music to boot. “Spice it Up,” I thought to myself as I pulled out two crystal stems.
I popped back to our bowl of sugar love with two full glasses of Bacchus’ best (that Roman God who adored the fruit of the vine!) and handed one to my love as I said, “To you, Honey Bun, I can’t wait.” And here is what that toast revealed; Marquette and conversation hearts is a fragrant taste combo which you can heighten by the addition of a snacking bowl of roasted almonds. Yum Yum.
And for those of you who have not made the trek to Carlos Creek Winery, Cupid and Bacchus aside, you really are missing a terrific outing. Their every day of the week winter hours include plenty of time for a tasting, laid back conversation and even a complimentary tour. Check out their webpage for live music and other events. Able to stay in town longer? Check out the variety of lodging choices in Alexandria and make a plan today. “Sweet Love!”