Looking for fun and delicious weekend activities in and around The Beltway,Â The DC area offers many options, from cheap eats to fine dining on a budget.Â Even better, you can even find FREE deals!Â How about if it involves chocolate, wine, and art?Â Â Biagio Fine Chocolate (1904 18th St NW, Washington, DC) will be hosting its monthly Sample Dayâ€”a free tasting of over a dozen of the world’s best gourmet chocolatesâ€”this Saturday, August 7th from 3-6pm in their Studio B tasting room/gallery as part of the 11th Annual Dog Days of Summer MidCity Sidewalk Sale.Â A chocolate lover’s dream come true! 😀 In addition to a wonderful variety of chocolates, this month’s Sample Day will feature Spanish wines from Tradewinds Specialty Imports as well as studio art display from Art Enables.
Chocolate and wine are two culinary indulgences many of us love, but they also happen to be two healthful foods when enjoyed in moderation.Â The health benefits of dark chocolate and red wine are being widely acknowledged through research with the details for the benefits continuing to be explored.Â A key component found abundantly in both is flavanoids, which acts as an antioxidantâ€”likely playing a role in prevention of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
Biagio’s website provides helpful information on how to fully appreciate the experience of tasting chocolate, in terms of how to eat the chocolate as well as the process of making chocolate, distinguishing between high-quality and inferior chocolate, and terminology of different forms of chocolates.Â You will find a lengthy list of nations where cocoa beans come from just as the DC area is blessed with many diverse single-ethnic cuisines of the world.Â Try tasting single-origin chocolates because it helps you understand how chocolates have very different tastesâ€”fruitiness, nuttiness, earthiness, etc.â€”based on their region or country of origin, such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Venezuela (including the isolated Chuao region), Columbia, Ecuador, Madagascar, Tanzania, SÃ£o TomÃ©, Ghana, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.Â Since everyone has a different flavor preference, taste and discover which chocolate pleases your palate the best.Â Some of the leading chocolatiers are Amadei from Italy, New Tree from Belgium, Vosges Haut Chocolat from Chicago, as well as Michel Cluizel, Valrhona, and FranÃ§ois Pralus from France.Â My absolute favorite of the moment is the Cuban 75% dark chocolate by Pralus.
What a wonderful way to pamper your physical and mental health through two delicious, healthy foods and cool artworks from the DC area’s physically and developmentally disabled artistsâ€”all for free!