Wine and Chocolate Tasting at the Co-op
The Greenbelt Co-op Supermarket and Pharmacy is housed in Roosevelt Center and is one of seven cooperatives active in the city today. (The other six are Greenbelt Homes, Inc., Greenbelt Federal Credit Union, Greenbelt News Review, Greenbelt Nursery School, New Deal Café, and Rapidan Camps, a vacation retreat in the Blue Ridge mountains.) The store has an active wine and food tasting program, and on Wednesday, February 8, a red wine and chocolate tasting is held just ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Ellen Siegel (left), the Co-op’s produce department manager, and Kim Rush Lynch, the outreach and education specialist are behind today’s wine and chocolate tasting table.
The three red wines available for tasting today are, from left, 2007 DeLoach Zinfandel from California, 2010 Matua Valley Pinot noir from New Zealand, and 2009 Thorn Clarke Terra Barossa Shiraz from Australia. According to Siegel, the Pinot noir is a “nice mellow red wine,” the Zinfandel has “a little bit more spice in it,” and the Shiraz, “very nice and extremely full of flavor.”
The chocolates come from Green & Black’s, a UK-based, organic chocolate company (Green stands for the company’s environmental concerns, and black for the high cocoa solids). Today five types of chocolate bars are available, and they are from right to left, white, milk, Maya Gold, dark 70 percent, and dark 85 percent. Maya Gold is made from fair-trade cocoa from Maya farmers in Belize.
Below, Ellen Siegel describes today’s wine and chocolate choices:
Natalie Bailey (left) and her son Noah Eubanks (4) sample chocolate as Lynch (right) looks on.
Hilary Howes (left) and John Downs enjoy some wine.
Elizabeth Wright (second from right) and her son Timmy (4) sample chocolate as Lynch (right) and John Downs (left) look on.
Michael Grunberg enjoys a cup of wine.
From right, Marion Holland, Shayna Skolnik and her daughter Sabina Ramirez-Skolnik (6) enjoy wine and chocolate samples. Behind them, holding out her wine cup is Terri Rutledge.
Boxes of chocolate and Greenbelt Hugs and Kisses bears fill the Valentine’s Day shelves. Siegel expects the red roses to arrive on Saturday.
Valentine’s Day cards are already 50 percent off.
Siegel tells me that today’s tasting is part of the Co-op’s New to Natural series held on the second Wednesday of each month. This program introduces people to natural products in the store. On the last Wednesday of every month (customer appreciation day, with 5 percent off), the store hosts a Seasonal and Savory series highlighting produces that people “might not normally know what to do with or purchase, such as celery root or fennel.” Recipes are passed out and there are often demonstrations. In addition, there are at least two wine samplings each month. The Co-op gets its wines from a licensed distributor but local wineries also come. In fact, Boordy Vineyards, a well-known Maryland producer just outside of Baltimore, will be here later in February. When I ask her why the Greenbelt Co-op, a much smaller store than some national chain stores, has such an active program, “Kim and I enjoy presenting these things to our customers, and we want people to be able to enjoy things they might not be familiar with,” Siegel replies, “We just enjoy doing it.”