Thinking green for the traditionally red Valentine's Day? How about looking right in Summit for delicious gifts of organic wine and chocolate?
Organic wine is an excellent choice for Valentine's Day because it protects the planet and personal health. Wine from grapes grown without chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides, which can damage the soil and plant, is better for the planet and, because toxins can also end up in the wine, better for the wine drinker as well. Ivan Ruiz of The Wine List of Summit has an impressive collection, and he or his excellent staff would be delighted to help you pick out a bottle. Ruiz suggests an Argentine red wine, grown in a dry climate, which alleviates the need for pesticides, as an excellent choice.
Is there anyone who can resist chocolate? Luckily, fair trade and organic chocolates are available locally and in the natural food aisles of many grocery stores. You can look for Rainforest Alliance-certified chocolates, which means that socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable methods were used to grow and harvest the beans. And, like wines, organic chocolates are grown without pesticides, preservatives or other chemicals. Check out Vita Organic Foods in Summit, a new shop tucked in where the Dodge dealership used to be. Not only do they have an intriguing variety of organic chocolates, but they have organic soups and salads to take out or eat right there.
So enjoy those guilty pleasures with a little less guilt by choosing wine and chocolate that are better for you and the planet. And a very Happy Valentine's Day to everyone from Summit's Environmental Commission.
By Beth Lovejoy, on behalf of the Summit Environmental Commission