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Romance Michigan-Style

by Lisa Diggs

February is a common time of year to talk about romance, and yet most people, women at least, will tell you any time of year is a good time of year to create a romantic moment.  Here are a few fun ways to make your loved one's day, while supporting the state we know you love.

Take a Class Together

Sharing in a common experience is a great way to grow closer.  Whether you're taking a special interest in something your partner loves, or both experimenting with a brand new experience, learn and laugh together.  Cooking and winetasting classes are a fun idea that's easy to continue well after the session is over.  Both are offered by many restaurants, winemakers, and community colleges throughout the state. For an even more unique experience, consider something like glassblowing.  Glass Academy in Dearborn offers a variety of sessions, or you can just visit their studio and watch masters at work.

Share a Toast

Even without a class, if you enjoy wine, you can find a vintage you like here in Michigan.  Reds are frequently considered a romantic choice, but are often overlooked locally.  Consider a Cabernet Franc. The grape variety is one of the major black varieities in the world, and grows particularly well in the soil and climate of Michigan.  It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but can also be vinified alone, which is becoming increasingly common here to the delight of red wine lovers. 

Ice and dessert wines also make a particularly decadent and unique treat for celebrating, and or cool climates and wide range of fruits, make the state a good place to try them.  Finally, nothing makes an ordinary moment extraoridnary faster than popping the cork on some bubbly.  L. Mawby specializes in creating sparkling wines suitable for just such moments. 

Go Red with Cherries

Red is universally accepted as the primary color of love, and lucky for us, Michigan is the cherry capital of the world.  Even when not in season, life here is still a bowl of cherries, especially when you visit Cherry Republic.  Nearly any kind of cherry product one can imagine, and even some I couldn't, can be found there.  Hint: Those that are covered in white or dark chocolate make for a particularly sumptious treat.

Bake Your Love

Few things say "I love you" better than fresh-baked delectables.  Fire up the oven and make your favorite sweet treat for those you treasure with some help from Michigan Sugar.  If, like famous chef, Rachel Ray, baking just isn't your thing, then warm their hearts with goodies from a professional like Crooked Tree Breadworks or Grand Traverse Pie Company.  After all, it's the thought that counts.  In fact the creative folks at Just Baked can even help you out with a tasty bouquet of cupcakes topped with frosty flowers instead of the long-stemmed variety.

Brunch in Bed

How about a lazy twist on an old favorite.  Let your partner sleep in for a change and then delight him or her with a spectacular brunch.  Most of the makings of a typical breakfast in bed can be found locally like fruit, eggs, coffee, and breads.  For later in the day fare, consider serving meats from Winter's Sausage  and a selection of Wilson's Cheese.  To add a particularly adult flare to the feast, try a tantalizing and spicy Bloody Mary by combining McClure's Bloody Mary Mix with Valentine Vodka.

Make them Sparkle & Smile

If doing something special doesn't fit your lifestyle, then you can always turn to jewels at any time of year to add sparkle to your relationship.  By avoiding national chains, you can find something truly special.  Local designers like Linda Michaels, Becky Thatcher Designs, Tracy Jane Jewelry, and Denise Ilitch Designs are creating truly unique pieces for both women and men.


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