BiteClub

Say it with Chocolate

Nothing says “I love you, baby,” like a big box of chocolates. Except, of course, telling her she looks slimmer after eating all of them.

So, in honor of St. Valentine’s Day (and the need for the aforementioned chocolates), BiteClub canvassed the chocolate meccas of Sonoma County for the best bets in cocoa bliss–for every budget.

La Dolce V
Surround yourself in confectionary delight at Sebastopol’s only Chocolate CafĂ©. Big spenders can shower their sweeties with bon-bons filled with forbidden fruits, sultry spices, fragrant flowers and luscious libations–like the 24-piece Aphrodite Collection ($34.95). Of more modest means? Take your lover for a glass of French-spiced hot chocolate in the salon, or for one of the weekly chocolate fondue nights. La Dolce V, 110 North Main St., Sebastopol.

Patisserie Angelica
Nipples of Venus, Cardinal Sin cake and ‘Better than Sex’ Chocolate fudge. You pretty much can’t go wrong at this Sebastopol bakery. Pair with a little something from Victoria’s Secret, and, let’s just say you’ll be whistling a happy tune until next week. Patisserie Angelica, 6821 Laguna Park Way, Sebastopol, 707.827.7998.

Hearts Desire
Chocolate and wine might just be better than oysters this holiday. Grab a tin of three truffles infused with local wines–Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet. Heart’s Desire Chocolates, 101 Golf Course Drive, Suite C8, Rohnert Park, 707.585.7673.

Whole Foods
Score! Imported French chocolates from renowned chocolatier Michel Cluizel. A 16-piece truffle selection will run you about $12. And impress the pants off your date (which is pretty much what you were going for). Want to spice things up? Whole Foods also carries a selection of Vosges Haute Chocolate candy bars infused with spices like curry, cardamom and chipotle. You rascal, you. Santa Rosa and Sebastopol locations.

Trader Joe’s
A yard of chocolate for $3.99? Yes, it’s true. Joe’s has tons of adorably-wrapped Belgian, French and American confections at a bargain price. Just tear off the holiday bows (on some of them), and ignore the “Best By” dates of January. It’s the thought that counts, right?

MORE CHOCOLATE FUN

Cooking with Love, Aphrodisiac Ingredients
Red wine and chocolate braised Sonoma Duck, along with a variety of other passion-inducing dishes will be cooked by Chef Mark Stark (of Willi’s Wine Bar fame) served in Bella Winery’s romantic candlelit cave. Not that we’re suggesting you adjourn to the vineyards afterward for a little post-dinner nookie–but, you know, you could. Call Relish Culinary School for details and availability, 707.431.9999.

Healdsburg Chocolate Walk
Take a guided tour in search of all things chocolate around Wine Country’s most charming town. Just think, you’re walking off all those calories! Click here for details.

COPIA’s Death By Chocolate Festival Weekend
Chocolate tasting, demos, wine pairings and more tasting. Learn to make your own truffles, hobnob with chocolatiers and stuff your face with the candy of the gods. Saturday 2/17 and Sunday 2/18. www.copia.org

Rodney Strong’s Wine and Chocolate Fantasy
Wine and chocolate pairing February 10th from 1-4pm.

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