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By Millicent Arko

February 1, 2012 (Escondido)—The Escondido “For the Love of Chocolate and SweetArt”  has my four favorite food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate truffles.  Oh—and pairings to provide the perfect wine for every chocolate! This sweet affair will be held Saturday, February 11 from 1-5 p.m. in downtown Escondido—just in time for Valentine’s Day. 


The third annual event is sponsored by the Escondido Downtown Business Association. Admission to the Sweet Street and Champagne Garden is free, making the Festival an affordable attraction Chocolate pairings are $20 a ticket, which includes 10 beer or wine and chocolate pairing tastings.. Spend the day shopping at Sweet Street, enjoying live music, or taking a horse-drawn carriage ride down historic Grand Ave. Enjoy the best of Escondido’s downtown shops and spas while sampling locally brewed beer and wines, paired with San Diego's finest chocolates.

All things chocolate will fill the streets of downtown Escondido's Grand Avenue for the annual Festival, where the public can revel in chocolate tastings, pairings with wine, champagne and beer and ever-popular chocolate dippings while visiting booths manned by local restaurants, galleries and spas.
Chocolate pairings will pepper Grand Avenue's retail stores between Center City Parkway and Juniper Street. The public can nibble their way down Sweet Street checking out local vendors and chocolate-themed treats, and purchase gifts.
Horse and carriage rides are also available throughout the day in downtown Escondido.
The chocolate festival is a great way to explore all that Escondido has to offer, no matter what your favorite type of chocolate, as there is something for everyone. The action-packed event is sure to make this year's festival a memorable one. Eat, drink and indulge your way through this tasting village.
Wine and chocolate paired together – They are natural companions; both have complex flavors and both have similar components and nuances in common. A wine and chocolate pairing follows the same kind of process as a wine or chocolate tasting, except the taste is both together. As with food, when pairing wines with chocolate, match lighter-flavored chocolates with lighter-bodied wines, and more intense-flavored chocolates with more full-bodied wines. Just like in a chocolate or wine tasting, the flavors are released in stages.
What to Pair - Pair lighter chocolates with lighter wines; darker chocolates with full-bodied wines. Go from light to dark in a tasting session, starting with milk or lower percentage cacao chocolates and their corresponding wines.
Pairings for Dark, Bittersweet and Semisweet Chocolate: Zinfandel, Syrah, Tawny Port, Armagnac, and Cognac.
Pairings for Milk Chocolate: Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Dessert wines.
Escondido Welcomes You - Historic Downtown Escondido, established in 1886, is the Cultural Heart of San Diego North County. Enjoy numerous art galleries and studios, live theaters, the world-renowned Mingei International Museum, a Children's Museum, The Escondido History Center and California Center for the Arts. Restaurants, bistros, and unique boutiques line the charming downtown. In addition, there are many professional services, such as dental, medical, automotive repair and financial, for your convenience while you visit downtown.
The Downtown Business Association of Escondido (DBA) - oversees a comprehensive Downtown Revitalization Program, following the National Main Street approach, for a 68 square block area in Downtown Escondido. This assessment district was organized in 1989, at the request of business owners, to promote the business environment in the district.
For more information on the event contact: 760.745.8877 or events@downtownescondido.com or contact the Downtown Business Association of Escondido, 120 West Grand Avenue, Suite 202, Escondido, CA 92025. Phone: (760) 745-8877, Fax: (760) 745-0307.


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