On Wednesday, February 11, enjoy a free pre-Valentine wine tasting at French Country Wines, 2433 Barlett. Head to the winery from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. to enjoy Chateau Les Valentines wines along with crackers and Houston Dairy Maid cheeses. The winery will have boxes of Chocolat du Monde Valentine's treats for sale so you can shop and save time while you sip and savor.
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Join Cacao & Cardamom, 5000 Westheimer, for a special evening of Champagne and Chocolates on Thursday, February 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For $65 per ticket, the Valentine's Day Bubbles and Truffles Tasting event features Moët and Chandon champagnes paired with Cacao & Cardamom chocolates from their aphrodisiac chocolate collection. Learn about the history of Champagne, as well as chocolate's link to Valentine's Day along the way. To save your seat, purchase your tickets at cacaoandcardamom.com or call 281-501-3567.
On Friday, February 13 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) or Saturday, February 14 (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.), enjoy "Tapas on the Trails" at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway. The very special evening features a romantic walk on the Arboretum's softly lit trails with stops throughout the forest to dine on the delicious courses paired with carefully chosen wines. The evening ends at the Meadow Deck overlooking a picturesque pond and meadow where guests will enjoy sparkling wine, handcrafted desserts, coffee, and the company of an owl. Tickets are $75 per person for members and $85 per person for non-members.
Bayou City Outdoors' annual Valentine's Day Farmers Market Bike Ride kicks off at Onion Creek, 3106 White Oak, on Saturday, February 14 at 8 a.m. Start with a morning coffee then make your way to two or three different farmers markets to shop for local jams, fresh produce, artisan goods and more. All levels of riders and all types of sweeties are welcome to this social ride (lasts about 3 hours and is around 12 to 15 miles total). RSVP at bayoucityoutdoors.com.
On Tuesday, February 17 (a.k.a. "Fat Tuesday), celebrate Mardi Gras with a special Creole-style meal at Brennan's, 3300 Smith. The extravagant 3-course menu --available for $65 per person -- features snapping turtle soup, a Louisiana oyster roast, NOLA BBQ seafood stew with spiced redfish and seafood boudin, and a "Mardi Gras Mambo King Cake," among plenty of other delicious options. Call 713-522-9711 for reservations.