Valentine’s Day always provides an opportunity to indulge in delightful sweets. The most iconic treat for the lovey-dovey holiday has to be chocolates, and the Hudson Valley offers high-quality candy in spades.
However, cocoa-centric confections are certainly not the only way to show that special someone you care. From themed wines to smoked jerky, here are our outside-the-box picks for treating the foodie in your life.
Our Pick: “B” Sparkling Wine – Rosé Cuvee
America’s oldest winery crafts a particularly delicious line of sparkling vinos. Aiming to produce wines with the “essence of celebration,” Brotherhood blends Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes for its Rosé Cuvee. This delightfully on-theme rosé showcases pleasant fruity notes. The chosen varietals are harvested early, which helps them maintain a crisp acidity. In addition, the grapes undergo two separate fermentations. This leads to an amazing carbonation level, and the perfect bottle of bubbly for date night.
Our Pick: GO POP! Cotton Candy Hard Seltzer
Decadent Ales carved out a niche in the booming Hudson Valley craft beer industry. The Westchester brewery earned a reputation for imaginative IPAs and stouts that taste eerily like classic desserts, with releases ranging from pecan pie to tiramisu. However, it recently entered the hard seltzer game with the same ethos. For Valentine’s Day, evoke memories of hand-written cards and tons of artificial sweets with the GO POP! cotton candy hard seltzer. With a crushable five-percent ABV, these six-packs won’t last long in your fridge.
Our Pick: Love Elixirs
It wouldn’t quite feel like Valentine’s Day without chocolates. However, Beacon’s HÅKAN Chocolatier brings something completely unexpected to the table. Swedish chocolate master Håkan Mårtensson takes inspiration from cocktails and spirits for his Love Elixirs pack. Nine unique and gorgeous bonbons grace this box. Sakura and Japanese whiskey bonbons blend cherry blossom and a hint of the brown stuff, while the Tahitian vanilla and pear cognac packs bold flavor. For the third flavor, Mårtensson recreates the profile of a tequila sunrise. Stop into the atmospheric shop to pick up this assortment.
Our Pick: Rainbow Cookie Cheesecake
The classic combination of almond cookie, fresh jam, and dark chocolate collide in cheesecake form. Try the New Paltz bakery’s claim to fame this February. For the rainbow cookie cheesecake, owner Dana Charres tops the layers of almond-flavored cheesecake and raspberry jam with a truly sensational Belgian chocolate ganache. Order by the slice if you’re seeking an assortment, or nab the signature cake in full size.
New Paltz, Rhinebeck, Saugerties
Our Pick: Edible Chocolate Heart Box
Sometimes, simplicity speaks the loudest. Grab a heart-shaped box full of assorted Krause’s Chocolates. Then, eat the box! This fun presentation of Valentine’s treats includes an edible box made from high-quality milk chocolate. Interior candies come in milk and dark chocolate form (though you can select the all-dark option for fans of rich, decadent, semi-sweet chocolate).
Our Pick: Assorted Beef Jerky Gift Box
On the other end of the spectrum, there are savory snacks to share. Papa’s Best Batch is known for delicious smoked nuts and other tasty items. For the carnivore in your life, try Papa’s assorted beef jerky gift box. Sliced whole top rounds spend a night in creative marinades like sweet molasses or chipotle lime before becoming scrumptious jerky. Each box comes with one 3.5-oz bag of each jerky flavor, including hot garlic and the two mentioned above.
Our Pick: Garden of Eden
Whether your loved one is on a completely plant-based diet, lactose intolerant, or just hungry for something different, Wendy’s Vegan Kitchen delivers. The nut-based cheeses are as satisfying to eat as they are to look at. The Garden of Eden is especially breathtaking on a snack board. Lovely pinks and greens adorn this cashew-based creation. Beets, carrots, white truffle, miso, and other interesting flavors play together beautifully.
Our Pick: Dark Hollow Chocolate Porter
On Valentine’s Day, even the beer should come with chocolate. West Kill Brewing’s Dark Hollow chocolate porter (6.2-percent ABV) is brewed with cacao nibs from Fruition Chocolate Works in Shokan. The perfect balance of bitter and sweet, this rich brew pairs well with many seasonal sweets. It’s currently available on tap and in four-packs to-go.
Our Pick: Tender Meadow
Of course, there’s no reason your Valentine’s Day treats can’t benefit your health. Yesfolk Tonics in Troy crafts a beautiful organic green tea kombucha called Tender Meadow. While fermenting in American oak barrels, Tender Meadow is infused with damiana, milky oats, and citra hops. This immune-boosting beverage pairs well with fish, and plays well with aged rums and reposado tequilas (if you’re into mixology). On its site, Yesfolk presents customers with an important message: “Know that you are loved.” Find these pretty cans at a variety of Hudson Valley locations while Yesfolk Tonics’ site shop takes its winter break.