Food for Thought: Red Wine & Chocolate planned Saturday and Sunday

Loretto Hulse, Herald staff writerFebruary 12, 2014 

Invite your Valentine along on a romantic wine tasting this weekend. Many of the Yakima Valley wineries will be celebrating Red Wine & Chocolate weekend Saturday and Sunday.

The rich, decadent flavors of dark chocolate and red wines are a natural pairing. Wineries from Yakima to Zillah to Prosser and the Red Mountain area will be offering special tastings along with sweet treats to complement them.

Buy a premier pass at one of the wineries, and you'll have access to exclusive library tastings and tours not available to the public. Cost is $35 per person.

For a list of participating wineries -- and their specials -- go to and click on "events."

Spirited workshop

If you've ever thought of producing your own vodka, gin or other spirits, there's a workshop just for you.

The Northwest Agriculture Business Center in Mount Vernon is holding a three-day workshop, the Business and Art of Craft Distilling.

The workshop is Feb. 20-22 at two locations in Snohomish and will be taught by distillery owners/workers Ryan Hembree of Skip Rock Distillery and Marc Bemhard of Pacific Distillery in Woodinville. Jeff Leichleighter of Tim's Cascade Potato Chips will also contribute his branding insights.

The workshop will cover production, economics, business plans, risk management and marketing. Significant time will be spent with hands-on time in the distillery.

Cost is $485 per person and includes all class materials and meals.

For more information or to register, go to

Taming rollers

Next time you're slicing and dicing roly-poly veggies like potatoes, squash and beets, follow these tips from Real Simple magazine.

Using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice along the length of the potato (or other vegetable) to create a flat side.

Turn the veggie cut-side down on the cutting board. This will ensure it's stable and won't roll away. Slice as desired, stopping when the veggie becomes unsteady and difficult to grip.

Turn the veggie so that the flat side from which you made the last cut is face down on the cutting board and continue slicing.

Good read

Book: Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan. Cost: $18

Best for: The author, a well-known food blogger, has gathered her favorite recipes -- jams, pickles, salsas, chutneys and syrups -- along with personal stories and tips for canning and storing. She's included a comprehensive introductory section, complete with photos, that will get even novices set up correctly and safely with hot water bath canning.

-- Loretto J. Hulse: 582-1513; To receive a recipe via email each Tuesday, register at and click on newsletters.

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