February 9, 2011
Combine cheese, chocolate, wine for your valentine

By Niesha Lofing

The Valentine's Day-themed cheese and chocolate pairing class at Taylor's Market is booked, but cheesemonger Felicia Johnson provided a few tips for Appetizers readers.

For a post-dinner treat, pair a dark chocolate truffle with bleu cheese and serve with port.

"The sweet with the savory and salty is phenomenal," Johnson said.

Try milk chocolate and a lighter, fluffier cheese like chevre together. And for hazelnut chocolate truffles, try a meatier cheese such as a Taleggio or a Morbier, she suggested.

"Cheese for dessert is something that is definitely overlooked," Johnson said.

For more Valentine's Day meal tips, check out today's story in the Food & Wine section.

Speaking of chocolate pairings, UC Davis is hosting an event Saturday highlighting female winemakers and wine and chocolate pairings. Click here to learn more.

Margrit Mondavi will open the event, followed by presentations by Fiddlehead Cellars winemaker Kathy Joseph, Tondi Bolkan of Francis Coppola Winery and Melissa Stackhouse, Pinot Noir winemaster for Jackson Family Wines, a university news release states.

Grace Erickson, of American Licorice Co. (and a former Ghiradelli Chocolate staffer) will discuss chocolate and confections, and Ann Noble, professor emeritus of UC Davis' Department of Viticulture and Enology, will lead a wine and chocolate tasting.

The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Silverado Vineyards Sensory Theater at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, which is hosting the event.

Tickets are $55 in advance, $65 at the door.

More information and online registration are available at or by contacting Kim Bannister at the Robert Mondavi Institute at (530) 752-5171 or

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