GTPulse: Get Educated on Wine and Chocolate Pre-Valentine’s Day at Aurora Cellars

People have been celebrating Valentine’s Day with their romantic other since the 1500s. The history of how the day came to be is muddled somewhere in the AD era but was most likely named after a martyr or a priest. The history may be confusing, but the tradition isn’t. I’m not sure how other cultures celebrate, but here in the states, we start celebrating V-day as kids. I remember the joy I got from decorating a shoebox in pink, white and red tissue paper to receive candygrams from fellow classmates. I remember how I used to carefully pick the cards I thought were the prettiest for the classmates I liked best, and how it was nice to see if anyone wrote anything extra on their card to you. When I was in high school it wasn’t candygrams that we were obligated to give to every classmate, but roses that were delivered to people of your choosing (this never went over well). We’re exposed to Valentine’s Day at such a young age that by the time we’re adults we have a firm grasp of what the holiday is all about; booze and chocolate. Aurora Cellars knows this to be true too, which is why their Valentine’s date this year is Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate, and the two are pairing up to make gift ideas a little bit easier with an upcoming wine and chocolate pairing.

Taylor Simpson co-owns Aurora Cellars and Good Harbor Vineyards with her brother Sam Simpson, and they’re always finding fun ways to work with other local businesses.

“We have so many amazing things in this area, there’s no reason not to work with other great businesses and highlight amazing things together.”

Awhile back Taylor and her sister-in-law took a truffle-making class at Grocer’s Daughter. The care and craft she observed owner Jody Hayden put into her work stuck with her.

“I just thought they were amazing. They have a great story and they make a wonderful product. Wine and chocolate go well together so I reached out to see if she had any interest in doing it.”

Jody happily agreed, so Taylor took some wine over to the chocolate shop and they got to work on marrying chocolate and wine combos to see what worked.

“There were a lot of really surprising pairings. I think it should be pretty exciting for the consumer. There are these crazy, wacky pairings where you think, ‘how do these go together?’ But, that’s the exciting part about wine and food.”

The event will have reds, whites and sparkling to pair up with a wide variety of different chocolate. 

“I figured it was going to be easiest to pair the red wines with dark chocolate because that’s what you’re taught. However, it’s the most difficult to pair because of the tannins involved” Taylor said.

It’s on Superbowl Sunday, February 2nd at Aurora Cellars, but the event is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., leaving plenty of time to get back to your couch or favorite dive bar for the game post wine buzz and sugar high.

It isn’t a drop-in event and guests will have to be there by the start time to get the full experience. Guests will taste the pairings, but also be educated on why they work together with Taylor talking about the wine and Jody talking about the chocolate, and if you like what you’re eating or drinking they’ll be for sale afterward.

Beyond finding an excuse to drink and eat sweets, the boutique winery is pretty, the drive is nice for a day date and they have more combo classes coming up for the season.

“We’re going to do more events and activities here. We are working with Millie and Pepper. Julie’s coming out here and she’s going to make crepes on Valentine’s Day weekend that we’re going to pair with local wines here.”

Tickets for the wine and chocolate pairing are $20 each and available by emailing

“It’s kind of a pre-Valentine’s Day, get your goods while you’re here. You’re set, shopping’s done.”


Categories: GTPulse