Tag Archive for valentine’s day

Vegan Chocolate Graze Board for Valentine’s Day

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?

I’m not the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day… in my mind, if you have special people in your life, you should tell them that more often than once a year. It’s nice to make the ones you love feel special on say, a random Tuesday, not on just February 14.

Having said all of that, this past year has been a tough one for businesses, so if you can figure out a way to support a local business, that’s not a bad thing!

A couple local favourites of mine include:

  • Beetbox Veg is doing a dozen vegan chicken tenders in a really beautiful wrapper for $24. These are so good! Much yummier than flowers!
  • Rocky Mountain Flatbread is offering DIY pizza kits, with everything you need to make your own pizza at home. I got one for me and one for my bestie, and we had a pizza making “Galentine’s Day” date over Zoom. They have vegan and gluten free options, as well as at-home cocktail kits as well!
  • Hot Chocolate Festival ends on Valentine’s Day. It’s been a fun month sampling different hot chocolates around the city, and there are loads of vegan options.
  • You could also bake something sweet and drop it off to your friends or family. Here are some of my favourite Valentine’s Day recipes.

But as we all know, Valentine’s Day is also alllll about the chocolate. Charcuterie or Graze Boards made a big comeback in 2020. They’re so pretty, they took over Instagram, but also, they are fun to make and provide a communal experience with your bubble mates.

Vegan Chocolate Graze Board

For Valentine’s Day, I did a Chocolate Graze Board, and it’s completely vegan!

The centrepiece of this board is, of course, chocolate! Here, I’m using Green & Black’s Dark Chocolate. In general, dark chocolate (anything say, 65-70% cocoa mass or above) tends to be vegan (meaning no milk is added). You do have to be careful if you have a dairy allergy, as there can be some cross contamination. For mine, I used a plain dark chocolate and I also used Maya Gold, which contains orange, cinnamon and nutmeg. It makes a nice compliment to the dried fruits on my Chocolate Graze Board.

Green&Blacks Chocolate Graze Board

Here’s how to make a Chocolate Graze Board:

  1. Pick a beautiful platter or board to build on. Here, I used a piece of marble, but a nice wooden cutting board or something similar would work great.
  2. Start with your focus ingredient. In this case, it was the chocolate, so I put that right in the middle, and then in a few other places on the outsides.
  3. Begin to build. I like to draw lines, make shapes with my ingredients.
  4. Some ingredient ideas:
    • dried fruits
    • fresh fruits and berries (you can cut them so they look prettier)
    • nuts
    • cookies
    • pretzels
    • coconut chips

5. Just go for it! There’s no wrong way! If you don’t like how something looks, you can just take it off and put it somewhere else.
6. Serve your board and bask in the oooohs and ahhhhs!

If you make something like this, please tag me @rebeccacoleman in your post on instagram so I can see it!

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

Chocolate and Wine Pairings

So, it’s Valentine’s Day. 

Honestly, it’s never really been my thing. It’s a Hallmark holiday, but it’s good business for florists. In my world, you should show someone you love and appreciate them all the time, not just one day a year…. 

Okay. Having got that crankiness off my chest, let’s turn to the task at hand. 

Chocolate and Wine Pairing

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to indulge. It’s far enough away from New Years that you don’t have to feel super guilty about breaking a few resolutions, and, I mean, hey! it’s Valentine’s Day! You deserve a little chocolate and wine. Either because you have a great relationship, or you don’t. Either is a perfectly good reason in my books. 

I enjoy learning about wine. I’m not the biggest connoisseur in the world, beyond the fact that I know what I like. I am also a big fan of dark chocolate. And, as it turns out, dark chocolate (because it tends to be lower in sugar and more savoury in nature) can actually pair quite well with wine. 

So, if you wanna drown your sorrows this V-day, or share your chocolate and wine with someone else (I think I might rather hoard mine all to myself), I have some suggested pairings for you. 

Oh–by the way, if you do decide to do a formal tasting pairing, here is how to do it, according the the nice people at Lindt (this post is in no way sponsored by them, I just really like their chocolate):

  1. First, taste both the chocolate and wine individually.
  2. Then, to begin the pairing, take another piece of chocolate. Savour the taste as it slowly melts in your mouth.
  3. When the last lingering notes of chocolate are all that remain, take a sip of wine. Hold the wine in your mouth, allowing it to coat your palate.
  4. Notice the complex changes in taste as the wine mingles with the residual chocolate flavour.

Chart courtesy of Lindt Chocolate

Cabernet Sauvignon with Dark Chocolate with Raspberries:

I wandered into Lindt yesterday to get my fix, and they have a new bar out, which features chunks of raspberries. This is one of my favourite flavour combos. It goes great with a cabernet sauvignon, which has lots of plummy and blackberry notes. 

Pinot Noir with Chili Chocolate

Some like it hot! The spiciness of the Chili Chocolate is a great match for the cherry notes in a bold Pinot Noir. For those of you out there with a fiery, passionate relationship, this is your pairing. 

Riesling with Orange Chocolate

This Okanagan Riesling is under $20.

The riesling has notes of citrus and stone fruit, and that pairs great with the citrus in the chocolate. This is a lighter pairing, for those of you who aren’t attracted to dark, bold reds, but want something lighter and less complex. 

Merlot with Dark Chocolate Sea Salt

The Lindt Dark Chocolate Sea Salt is my favourite. It’s the one I come back to again and again, and it’s very seldom that I don’t have one in my house. I love the sweet/savoury pairing, and the salt brings out the chocolate. The plum and pomegranate notes in the merlot go nicely here. 

Not a fan of dark chocolate? 

White Chocolate with liqueur

A lot of people don’t even consider white chocolate to be chocolate, because it has the lowest amount of cocoa solids. Dark chocolate has a minimum of 70%, and white chocolate only has 30%. But some of you really like it. Ideally, because it’s sweet, you want to pair it with something sweeter, like Bailey’s Irish Cream. 

Milk Chocolate with Ice Wine 

Inniskillin makes a great local ice wine.

Milk chocolate has somewhere around 35%-50% cocoa solids, and is much sweeter than dark chocolate. Pair it with a finishing drink, something sweet, like an ice wine, a sherry or a Port (basically some kind of sweeter, fortified wine). One of my local faves is Langley’s Vista D’oro’s Walnut Fortified Wine. 

There you have it! Go out and collect some bottles and collect some chocolate and have a blast this Valentine’s Day–and remember, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. 

« Older Entries