Wine for your Valentine

Try a nice flight of downtown destinations

Summit-City-Somm-FEB17

Here we are again in the month of the Valentine. It’s not just a Hallmark holiday; its roots are in pagan partying. So, thank you, pagans! V-Day is the most celebrated day in restaurants right behind Mother’s Day, and I have some downtown destination ideas.

A couple of interesting wine events are happening. One, Second Thursdays in the Paradigm Gallery, is at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. At 5 p.m. Feb. 9 the museum will feature a special evening geared towards lovebirds, featuring art, live music and a special Valentine’s day treat. The museum shop is open for you to pick out a distinctive gift, and there will be a wine bar and a special Valentine cocktail as well. Enjoy free admission, edibles and a cash bar. According to museum President and CEO Charles Shepard, it’s one of the museum’s most popular nights all year.

Another wine event is being held at the FWMoA, this one in conjunction with Urban Body Yoga. Owners John and Jennifer Wright will lead a group (couples or not) through an hour of flow yoga, then it’s wine time and a museum tour afterwards. How fabulous! That’s happening at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17.

There are plenty of locally owned restaurants in which to celebrate your amour downtown. Wine Down has state-of-the-art wine tasting machines where you can swipe your card for a generous taste of wine, and there are 40 wines to try. They also have more than 100 wine selections by the bottle, and on Valentine’s Day they feature a special menu for deux. They’re located in The Harrison by the ballpark.

According to legend, oysters are an aphrodisiac, and the best place to get them downtown is The Golden in the new, glittering Ash Skyline Plaza. They also have a large wine list, with 55 (give or take) choices by the bottle and 15 varietals by the glass. I actually wrote the wine list (I think legally I have to tell you that) and what is unique is that all selections are either from family owned wineries, certified organic or sustainable wineries or both. The chefs keep it local, so I figured I would follow suit. Valentine’s Day at the Golden will be, er, golden!

The third romantic destination downtown I’d suggest for wine worthiness is Tolon. Their list is on the smaller side, but there are some varied and thoughtful selections. It’s also a nicely appointed, romantic spot and the food is, quite frankly, superb. Get the salmon with a glass of pinot noir.

Another fun idea is to grab a sexy little bottle of wine and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Yes, it will be cold, and that’s the idea. Bundle up, bring a blanket and
get cozy! Warm up with La Romantica, a sweet sparkling brachetto d’asti, or Calon Segur, a serious Bordeaux with a heart on the bottle. Don’t forget to stop into DeBrand Fine chocolates, also located in the Ash Skyline building, for locally made, first class, fine chocolates.

First appeared in the February 2017 issue of Fort Wayne Magazine.

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