Valentine's Day is just about here and one local winery has an especially sweet collaboration that's fit for Cupid.
Nello Olivo winery of Cameron Park recently collaborated with Shari Fitzpatrick, founder of Shari's Berries and the Berry Factory, on a line of chocolate-dipped wine bottles.
The bottles are shrink- wrapped and then submerged in chocolate, giving new meaning to the term "dessert wine."
"I'm a fan of Shari's and they've been flying off the shelves," said Nello Olivo, for whom the winery is named. "People are buying them now for Valentine's Day. They're very romantic, if you will."
These chocolate-dipped bottles cost the price of a Nello Olivo wine plus $20. That means you can expect to pay $45 to $85 for the complete, chocolate-dipped package.
Nello Olivo winery specializes in Italian varietals, including sangiovese that's earned it a gold medal at the 2010 California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition, and a "super Tuscan" blend of sangiovese and merlot.
You'll also find Bordeaux varietals in Nello Olivo's lineup, including cabernet sauvignon, merlot and a 2007 claret that's a combination of the two. Its 2006 petite sirah also nabbed a double gold medal and "best of class" honors at the 2011 California State Fair.
If you want to taste these wines before taking the dip into chocolate, drop by Sequoia restaurant in Placerville (643 Bee St., Placerville; 530-622-5222). The tasting room for Nello Olivo wines is in the wine cellar there.
"We started winning all these awards and we had to open a tasting room because people started barraging me," Olivo said. "The room looks like a cross between 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'The Flintstones.' "
Wine and roses:If you're looking to splurge for your sweetie for Valentine's Day, and you both have a taste for wine, you really can't go wrong with the "Tunes and Truffles" event Tuesday at Wine & Roses (2505 W. Turner Road in Lodi; 209-334-6988).
This event includes appetizers, cocktails, a three-course dinner and dancing to Big Booty Bob & the Backside Kickers.
How romantic. It costs $110 per couple.