Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It began in 500 AD as a remembrance of St. Valentine, who was one of the many martyred saints of Ancient Rome. How it grew into today’s tradition of expressing our love for our special someone is not very clear. Being martyred is not very romantic is it? Sources say that Valentine’s Day began to be celebrated as a day of love in the High Middle Ages, when courtly loved flourished. Today’s Valentine’s Day has grown into a mass production of pastel colored conversation hearts, greeting cards and overstuffed stuffed animals. Rather than celebrating with the usual, why not show your special someone that you care by celebrating Arizona style? Whether you’re going out or staying in, Fill Your Plate can help create a special day for you and your sweetheart.
Arizona Vineyards & Wineries
Did you know there are vineyards and wineries right here in Arizona? Arizona vineyards and wineries are a bigger business than you might think. To find a vineyard near you, click on the “Find a Farm Product” section of Fill Your Plate, and search for wine. Here are a few selections of the many local wineries featured on Fill Your Plate.org and some of their Valentine’s specials:
- Alcantara Vineyards is the first winery on the Verde River in Arizona. What better place to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend than at the 11th Annual Camp Verde Pecan, Wine & Antiques Festival? The event celebrates the Verde Canyon February 11-13, 2011. For more information, go to http://www.alcantaravineyard.com.
- Coronado Vineyards is located in the high desert of Wilcox, Arizona. Coronado Vineyards is partnering with Cocpotomus Chocolates for the February 12th wine and chocolate tasting. Cost is $10 and you must be 21 or older for the wine tasting. For more information, go to www.coronadovineyards.com.
- Dos Cabezas Wine Works is a ‘small winery [with] spectacular wine’ in Sonoita, Arizona. Family owned and operated this small winery has served big clients including the White House! The Tasting Room is open year round and for just $7 you can taste and bring home the souvenir wine glass. Check out this local treat at www.doscabezaswinery.com.
Dinner for Two at Home
Opting for dinner at home with your sweetheart is an opportunity to celebrate the day and also celebrate Arizona wine and food. Select from in-season produce, Arizona wine and create a dinner for two from recipes on Fill Your Plate. Grab produce at a Farmer’s Market or subscribe to a CSA like Desert Roots Farms to get your fresh produce, milk, meat, and dairy for these and other yummy recipes:
- Beef makes an excellent pairing with red wine. Why not cook up a delicious steak on the barbecue? Arizona’s balmy winter weather is perfect for grilling all year round.
- Or if lamb is more your style, why not try Lemon Rosemary Lamb chops made with in-season Arizona lemons?
- For your salad, try Grilled Romaine Salad with Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- No dinner is complete without potatoes. Try Scalloped Gold Potatoes with Goat Cheese, or Orange Coated Yams are a great choice for using in-season sweet potatoes and oranges.
- And for dessert, make Applesauce Bread Pudding using Arizona grown milk and eggs!
Whether you’re going out or staying at home this Valentine’s Day, make it special and celebrate Arizona style!