If music is the food of love, then wine be the drink. In ancient Rome drinking wine was thought to bring couples closer together and the gift of a bottle was a symbol of affection. In the Middle Ages wine became associated with the feast of Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love. It was believed that drinking wine during the feast brought luck and happiness in love, all of which suggests that Loudoun, DC’s Wine Country®, is the perfect place to woo your loved one this February 14.
But Loudoun is about more than wine. Check out our guide to the destination's world-class craft beverage scene including beer, cider, whiskey, cocktails and even coffee. This Valentine’s Day (and week) why not get romantic over a glass or cup of all kinds of craft drinks and let your love take flight.
Loudoun’s wine community is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. And while the 50-plus wineries offer tastings year-round, some go the extra mile for V-Day. Acclaimed Middleburg winery Boxwood Estate Winery is hosting Cupid’s Cave over five days: a four-course pairing in their atmospheric cellar – a cool circular cave-like room lined with French oak wine barrels. Featured dishes include Pacific Salmon Florentine and baked pear and brie in phyllo pastry. Each guest also takes home a gift bag featuring a half bottle of the Trellis blend, a wine glass and a chocolate heart.
North of Leesburg the Vineyards and Winery at Lost Creek’s Valentines Day Tasting & Wine Pairing takes place on successive Saturdays (February 10 and 17). Enjoy a four-course menu from Chef Christian Evans paired with Lost Creek wines. Highlights? An oyster chowder matched with a 2022 Chardonnay and Pan Seared Sea Scallops paired with Lost Creek Rouge D’ete Red Blend 2020. For those with a sweet tooth, Kalero Vineyard in Purcellville hosts the second annual chocolate and wine pairing, the chocolates from The Conche Chocolate & Cake Studio, while October One Vineyard’s Leesburg tasting room offers a flight of reds also paired with chocolate. Scenic Bluemont Vineyard has a Valentine’s Day “Chef’s Table Dinner” at the rustic-chic Stable venue on Februrary 14 and February 17, but why not ditch the roses for the rosé and get your girlfriends together for a sumptuous Galentine’s Day Brunch. The three-course celebration features farm-fresh produce from sister property Great Country Farms and you can spoil your palate with estate wines by the glass or bottle, mimosas or red sangria.
Veteran-owned Honor Brewing celebrates Valentine’s Eve February 13 with an elevated four-course dinner and beer pairing. Highlights include a roasted wild mushroom salad paired with a cold crisp pilsner and a scallop dish matched with a malty porter. You can also build your own flight with four small pours. Nearby, Solace Brewing Co. channels its tender side with a Love Tulips promotion: pre-order a stunning 10-stem bouquet of locally grown, hydroponically nurtured tulips from The Fertile Bulb and collect them from the brewery on February 9, 10 or 11. While there, it would only be right to stick around for a glass of IPA. On the sweeter side of things, Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery hosts a pop-up of popular Puerto Rican bakery Narima’s Cakery, famous for its delectable Tres Leches cakes, on February 10. Pair yours with a glass of Farmhouse Ale.
Henway Hard Cider Co. wants your dog to feel the love. On February 10 it hosts a Valentine’s Day “Pawty” in the Tasting Room, your pup your plus one. A collection of pup-focused vendors and brands are on hand to sell doggie treats and accessories and the $15 ticket comes with a glass of cider for you and a swag bag for your four-legged Valentine. Bird Bites Kitchen will provide food for humans and “bark-cuterie” boards for the hounds.
Cocktails & Mocktails
Not every Valentine’s Day date can be sealed with a kiss but Mt Defiance Distillery in Middleburg guarantees you one. The signature cocktail on the big day is a version of an Amaretto Kiss: amaretto liqueur, smoked whiskey and dark rum (all made in-house) mixed with grenadine syrup and chocolate bitters and garnished with a cherry. That should get the heart racing. For an evening of romantic moody glamor, head over to speakeasy-style Tarbenders Lounge in Leesburg for the Serenade Surf n Turf Valentine's Dinner. Alongside craft cocktails and champagne, dine on oysters shucked on site by Ariel Oyster Co. and poached lobster tail with filet medallion, all while being serenaded by jazz clarinet Brian Cambrel. Magic. If you’re looking for a nightcap afterward, head over to The Docket or Night Shift in the SideBar setup for a craft cocktail (or a mocktail if you’re driving). Over in Round Hill meanwhile, More Better will have two romantic cocktail specials: a “Cupid’s Shuffle” and a “My Spicy Valentine” made with whiskey, bourbon or vodka.
Desserts are a necessity this holiday, but did you know they can also come in craft drink form? Make your way to Goosecup Café in Leesburg, the trendy café, bar and small batch roastery, for an inventive coffee drink. What to try? The Cafe Miel is a double shot of espresso with miel – French for ‘honey’ – and a dash of cinnamon, while the Maple Cardamom Latte is a double shot with maple syrup a dash of cardamom spice and steamed milk. Then there’s the Orange Sunshine: a double shot of espresso with a shot of homemade candied orange syrup, steamed half and half and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a taste of sweet spice. Not only will your date be wowed, but the caffeine and sugar rush will keep the day going a little longer.