“We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.” – unknown
Valentine’s Day. A very polarizing holiday – people either love or hate it. And full disclosure, I used to be on the anti-Valentine’s Day team. It felt very exclusive – a holiday for people who were in a relationship. And if you weren’t? Well, maybe next year you’ll be able to participate.
But I’ve come to realize that Valentine’s Day is a day meant to celebrate love. And love is not exclusive. In fact, love is the opposite; it’s inclusive.
And let’s be honest, the world could use a little bit (or maybe a lot) of love right now.
According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, love is:
“A strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”
“Unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the good of another: such as (1): the fatherly concern of God for humankind and (2) brotherly concern for others.”
So just like the Grinch, my heart has grown a few sizes. Choosing love and spreading kindness is much more fun. Especially when you can do so in the form of food and drink.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I gathered a few (okay several) of my girlfriends together for a wine and food tasting. Who doesn’t love an excuse to catch up with friends and drink wine? And because my recent obsession has been This Bar Saves Lives (have you tried the Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter + Sea Salt yet?) I decided to move away from the sugary treats associated with Valentines Day by choosing a healthier twist in pairing the wine with the bars.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Charity Girl party, without a give back spin. Both This Bar Saves Lives and One Hope Wine (which we used for the tasting) believe in the power of love and caring for humankind.
When you purchase a bar from This Bar Saves Lives, you are literally saving a life with every bar. With each bar sold, an malnutritioned child receives a packet of PlumpyNut via one of their charity partners. If you haven’t watched Anderson Cooper’s video about the wonders of PlumpyNut, you must do so immediately. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I even linked it for you.
One Hope Wine has made it their mission to support a different organization for every varietal they offer. I’ll share more about the specific causes they support later – so keep reading.
In keeping with tradition and starting with the lightest wine first, we kick things off with the California Brut Sparkling Wine. Because, let’s be honest, it’s not truly a celebration without bubbly.
With its bright, crisp, and slightly sweet flavors, the sparkling wine pairs perfectly with the Wild Blueberry Pistachio, which is has a nice surprising tart flavor to it.
For every bottle of bubbly sold, two meals are donated to Why Hunger. Clearly, feeding people (other than ourselves) was a big theme for the day.
Our second pairing is the California Chardonnay with the Madagascar Vanilla Almond + Honey.
Not going to lie, Chardonnays are usually my least favorite in the wine family. However, this one is very light and crisp, with hints of pear, which totally wins me over.
The additional flavor of madagascar vanilla makes it the perfect companion to the Madagascar Vanilla + Honey Bar (which pretty much tastes like you’re eating a rice crispy treat. You’re welcome).
With every bottle of Chardonnay sold, One Hope donates to Gateway for Cancer Research, helping to fund clinical trials for patients battling breast cancer.
Next, it’s on to the reds. We start with the Cabernet Sauvignon, which pairs perfectly with the Dark Chocolate Cherry + Sea Salt bar.
The baked blackberry and cocoa notes pair perfectly with the tart cherry flavors of the bar.
Each bottle of the Cabernet Sauvignon supports Act Today, providing ABA therapy to children with autism.
The grand finale just happens to be two of my favorite things, Merlot and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter + Sea Salt. Yes, it’s my party, but no, I didn’t plan it that way. Whether I bribed the sommelier to make it happen? That’s up to you to decide.
In all seriousness, the huckleberry and loganberry flavors pairs perfectly with the savory peanut butter cup inspired bar. They balance each other perfectly, as if you’re enjoying a deconstructed peanut butter + jelly sandwich on a level that only Top Chef can deliver.
And with every bottle of Merlot purchased, One Hope donates to END 7, an organization providing life-changing medicine to children working to end global disease.
This Valentine’s Day, take a chance, risk being vulnerable, and spread love to everyone you meet that day.
We often take for granted those in our lives daily. Take this as an opportunity to remind them of their value in your life.
Everyone is included in our narrative with a purpose. Maybe because you need them. But often, because they need you. Treat them with kindness and a smile.
And, if nothing more, invite them in for a glass of wine and a bar. Because even the smallest act can save lives.
Host Your Own Pairing Party: One Hope Wine | Cheeky | This Bar Saves Lives