Valentine’s Shopping Recommendations

Telluride Truffle’s Velvet Heart

Austrian Gem Heart and Chain from Alpen Schatz

Now that the Super Bowl is behind us, it’s time to focus on love. Yes, that’s right I’m talking about Valentine’s Day and you still have time to order a special something online for your sweetie, your mom or dad, your daughter who’s away at school, your mother-in-law or that dear friend you want to remember. There’s no need to fuss, just go ahead and let my handpicked selection of purveyors send the package off for you.

Telluride Truffle has earned my affection with their medium velvet heart filled with incredibly beautiful and delicious hand painted, glossy chocolates. Ruth’s Toffee, another local favorite, continues to rate as my all-time favorite for toffee. Type in promo code Bonjour in the coupon box for Telluride Truffle and mention Bonjour Colorado to Ruth to receive a 10% discount on online orders.

Looking to really make a statement? Select an Austrian Gemstone Heart from Alpen Schatz, a European-styled boutique and online shopping emporium based in Telluride. Colorado. These precious gem hearts come in three different sizes in a variety of stones including rose quartz, crushed crystal, onyx, turquoise and more. Handcrafted by a master jeweler in Salzburg, Austria, these heirloom-quality treasures surely show your love for this Valentine’s and forever. If you’re working off of a smaller budget, consider Alpen Schatz’s Italian silk scarves and  alpine scarf ornaments, also offered in a variety of colors and styles. Type in Bonjour upon check out to receive a 10% discount on online orders.

And let’s not forget or pets—we love them, too, right? Like crazy. Alpen Schatz also features a ton of gift ideas for your pooches from high-end Swiss dog collars to all-natural Italian shampoos. (The owner is actually jetting off to set up a boutique at the Westminster Dog Show as I write this.) Be sure to type in Bonjour to receive your special discount.

A Bevy of Hearts from Alpen Schatz

Purrfect Play also offers a 10% discount to Bonjour Colorado shoppers and I am happy to declare them as my number one choice for organic, natural, dog and cat toys that will keep your babies entertained for hours. For more information about Purrfect Play and the above online boutiques, consult my Online Shopping Page.

Now for the guys. Don’t let them be a problem and by all means, don’t forget them. Remember Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the ladies. Whatever you do, I suggest you send off the package with a touching note—isn’t that what matters most?

Selective Spices from Savory Spice Store

Seasonings for the Soul Gift Package

You can use some variation of “you spice up my life” by sending your special guy (or gal) a gift from Savory Spice Shop, a Colorado-based company that clearly puts a lot of love and creativity into their spice blends. With names such as Colorado Plateau Citrus Pepper, Summit County Seasoning and Table Mountain All-Purpose Seasoning, this company gives Colorado cooking new meaning. And if your special guy doesn’t cook, why not consider Savory Spice Shop’s salt & pepper mills? (My ex-boyfriend still talks about a pepper mill my mom gave him when we were together. Some gifts do provide lifetime memories, even for ex-boyfriends.)

Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard: The Center of Every Party

Guys like mustard, too. And I’ve found some of the most flavorful at Herlocher Foods. Herlocher’s Dipping Mustard will make a bag of pretzels or a bunch of brats disappear faster than you can say touchdown. It’s more sweet than hot, so it can also be used as a terrific ingredient for jazzing up dressings and marinades. Here, too, this gift gives you full license to develop the “you spice up my life theme” in your love note.

Delectable and Affirming Treats from Good Karmal

Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay

Let’s get back to the sweet stuff though, since even guys like sugary confections. You can get real gooey with your writing by sending off some all natural, flavored caramels from Good Karmal. These fabulously good caramels come wrapped in positive quotations, sure to sweeten everyone’s lives. Caramel flavors include vanilla, chocolate, café, sea salt and the oh-so peppery chipotle. Yum!

Wine is always a good choice—for men and women. Concannon Conservancy wines remain my favorite for great value and superior taste. I recently tried their Chardonnay which I found to be rich, complex and buttery-good. In buying the Concannon Conservancy wines, you’re helping to protect precious Livermore Valley vineyard land from urban development. Fellas might prefer Concannon Conservancy Crimson & Clover, a memorable red wine that I’ve written about before. Who could resist receiving a nice bottle of wine, a card and perhaps a single red rose for Valentine’s Day? Concannon wines are widely distributed throughout the U.S., so there’s no excuse for not coming up with the goods.

Glenn Foster, Founder of Talon Wine Brands

For a nectar that speaks more of Colorado and yes, romance, I suggest you dial up the folks at St. Kathryn Cellars and order some of their fruit wines such as Peach Passion, Blueberry Bliss or Strawberry Rhubarb. I tried the latter and loved it (and I’m not a huge fan of sweet wine). To me, the Strawberry Rhubarb tasted like part grandma’s pie, part Rosé de Provence—délicieux. Serve it with a pork roast or a slice of chocolate cake and you and your hunny will surely be over the moon. St. Kathryn Cellars and Talon Wine Brands is including a free 1/2 pound of their homemade fudge with the purchase of three bottles of wine as a Valentine’s Special. Offer valid with phone orders, by e-mail and in their tasting room in Palisade, a lovely little town to visit year-round. I’ve tasted their fudge as well and it’s extraordinary, creamy good and rich in flavor.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day and mountains of love all year-round!

Please note that I sample many different products and research all kinds of goods, however, I only report on the ones that I feel are truly wonderful in terms of taste (when that applies), appearance, function, packaging and price/quality relationship. Keep in mind that I’ve written four books on shopping and touring in France, so I have high standards for quality and charm. Feel free to share any recommendations that fit this criteria that you think might be of interest to me.

Silk Scarves and Scarf Ornaments from Alpen Schatz: Remember that Hearts and Flowers Make Most Girls Melt

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