Virginia food and wine fun in winter!

Just because the weather is cold, that’s no excuse not to do some fun foodie things in Virginia this winter! Bundle up and get out there.

Jan. 30 – Oyster Festival, River District Art Center (Sperryville) – With tastings from Little Washington Winery, the new Pen Druid Brewery and Copper Fox Distillery, this free event (you pay for only what you eat or drink) features the bounty of Virginia’s best oysters.

Jan. 30 & 31 – Heart of Virginia Wine Trail Chili Cook-Off (Central Virginia) – Get your wine tasting passport from HOVA’s website or any participating winery, then visit Cooper Vineyards, Grayhaven Winery, James River Cellars, Mattaponi Winery, Weston Farm Vineyard and Winery and Lake Anna Winery to taste chili and wine. Vote for your favorite chili and turn in your passport to be entered for a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Feb. 5 – Bacchus Wine and Food Festival, Virginia Living Museum (Newport News) – Enjoy the Peninsula’s best food and some of Virginia’s best wine while celebrating the Virginia Living Museum’s 50th anniversary.

Feb. 6 & 7 – Chocolate Lovers Festival (Fairfax) – The entire downtown Fairfax area celebrates all things chocolate on the first weekend in February. There’s even a “Chocolate Express” bus that runs between the various sites. The highlight of the weekend is the “Taste of Chocolate” event at Old Town Hall, which showcases the best chocolate treats from all over Virginia.

You could also take a class. From international cuisine to wine to food history, there’s a wealth of ways to learn about food in Virginia in the winter:

  • Southern Season – Richmond’s outpost of this classic Southern shop, cooking school and restaurant offers a wide variety of classes this winter. From pasta, cakes and biscuits to cuisines of India, Vietnam and Switzerland, plus special cooking classes just for kids and couples’ classes for Valentine’s Day, there’s something to please every palate. IMG_1057
  • FoodieU at Little Washington Winery – Between Culpeper and Front Royal in the Blue Ridge Mountains sits one of the finest restaurants in the country, the Inn at Little Washington. And just down the road from the inn lies Little Washington Winery. Offering a Wine Bootcamp, a class on wines from around the world, classes specific to great wine regions (like Bordeaux and South Africa) and a class on wine and cheese pairings, the winery gives even the most novice oenophiles the knowledge to feel confident in their wine choices.
  • Sur la Table at Stony Point Fashion Park – Fancy cookery store Sur la Table offers cooking classes throughout the year. In January, you can learn how to cook “Dinner in Tuscany” or “Winter Dinner in France,” how to make tasty Thai and Indian dishes, croissants and macarons and much more.
  • Williams Sonoma – One of the best deals in cooking classes are Williams Sonoma’s FREE technique and kids’ technique classes. Yes, you read that right: WS offers FREE cooking classes. From knife skills to sweet and savory crepes to game-day favorites, adults can learn from skilled Williams Sonoma staff. Kids have it even better! They get to make yummy waffles and apple snacks.
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