Grapevine, Texas: ChocolateFest by Bonnie and Bill Neely

Could any festival possibly cater to more of my cravings??? When we were invited to Grapevine, Texas, (right by Dallas/Fort Worth Airport) for the ChocolateFest in early April, we were thrilled and immediately said YES!
This festival annually serves as a fund-raiser for the local chapter of Travelers’ Aid, an International organization to help people traveling on any form of transportation with problems which might occur. At DFW this group has volunteers to whom Security refers anyone who is stranded, or has lost an item, or even more difficult emergencies. The organization has helped people who do not have the funds to travel to a loved one in an emergency. These volunteers serve at bus stations, train stations, airports and other places and are located throughout the USA and some other countries. We were delighted to learn about their services.
ChocolateFest was on an April Friday night for anyone over 21 years of age at the large and elegant Tuscan-style venue at Delaney Vineyard and Winery. Tickets include a gourmet buffet, which had many selections and plenty to make it the evening meal for attendees. Each guest received a large wine glass featuring Grapevine’s renowned vineyards and two tickets for a glass of the glorious selections from local vintners.
Mr. Delaney, a very gracious host, has the largest vineyard in Grapevine, which he replants about every six years with the hardiest indigenous grapes for this Texas climate. His specialty from these Cynthiana grapes is a delicious wine, which has a unique bouquet between a merlot and pinot noir. This beautiful building is used for many kinds of gatherings and celebrations and can hold hundreds of people.
Ticket holders were also given a large box to take around the room which had about twenty tables displaying the array of delicious choices made by chocolatiers of the Grapevine area. Several different types of chocolate samples were plenteous at each table throughout the evening, and guests could enjoy them on the spot or take home as many as they wished in the boxes! Could Heaven be any more perfect??? Chocolate displays included chocolate cakes and mousse, dark and milk chocolates, with and without nuts, even chocolate covered bacon, and the official winner of the title of world’s best white chocolate, and many more varieties! Among our favorites were the slices cut from the beautiful chocolate dipped apples and chocolate enhanced popcorn! From Gourmet Apples and More shop in Grapevine.
I have always been a chocola-holic…I even bit my mother when I was barely a year old and she tried to remove from my mouth my first piece of chocolate, which my aunt had surreptitiously given me. Did I ever dream I would have enough chocolate? NO ! But after I had made it around about half of the room of tasting these delicious samples, my taste buds were starting to go into overdrive and stop me. But then I arrived at Dr. Sue’s Chocolates, which are organic and healthy, and I had to try them. They were absolutely delicious. My body literally knew this was perfection and actually good for me! I could truly feel the difference. Dr. Sue is an Internist who became a chocolatier when she learned the healthful benefits of dark chocolates. All of her varieties are made of certified organic, all natural ingredients and she uses all natural fruits and local honey to sweeten them. Although she continues to practice medicine, she loves her second vocation of providing healthful chocolate treats, which can be ordered through her website and she has a store in Grapevine.
Chocolate and Art Festival continued for families on Saturday morning in the meeting room of the beautifully 1940’s restored, Palace Theatre. The tickets are nominally priced and the delight includes children. Each child can have fun painting chocolates with special edible decorations in the center of the room and doing other sweet crafts with carefully supervised help from the leaders. Each ticket holder may choose twelve different tables for samples of chocolate from the many in the room. Coffee was also provided for adults. And we enjoyed a sample of the unique Choffy, which is made best in a coffee press, and is from ground chocolate beans. It tastes like a mild unsweetened hot chocolate and is totally healthful and natural with far less caffeine than coffee. This can be ordered from
Grapevine hosts many different festivals throughout the year and has been awarded the coveted International Best Festivals Award, so subscribe to their newsletter or click regularly on their website to see what is coming up when you can plan your travels there and arrange any flights through the DFW airport for a stop-over in the many hotels and enjoy the excellent cuisine offered in Grapevine’s 200 restaurants! We enjoyed our stay at the new TownePlace Suites, which adjoins the Marriott Courtyard Hotel at a slightly more affordable price. This is a smart new concept in the Marriott chain because TownPlace has very comfortable, casual rooms, small reception area, and continental breakfast included. But if you want the use of the large reception area, full restaurant and bar, you simply walk through to the more spacious and upscale Courtyard.
We surely agreed that our choice of restaurants was perfect: Winewood for delicious American cuisine in a casually elegant atmosphere; M________ for excellent and unique Latin American fare; and the small and casual Into the Glass on Main Street which has terrific lunches and dinners paired with carefully chosen wines and beers. And no one can miss the fabulous Main Street Bakery/Bistro for the best European style breakfasts and pastries on this continent!

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