Virginia Wine Showcase Puts Dating in the Mix

At the Virginia Wine Showcase in Arlington, it's going to be an all play and no work kind of weekend, especially when a speed dating session is thrown into the loop.

OK, OK, and yeah, there's wine. The event brings in 300+ artisan wines from all over Virginia, and winemakers will be on hand to show off their new releases.

The fest will take over the entire Crystal Gateway Marriott (1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Va.), transforming into a gigantic wine-tasting venue. If you choose to stay the weekend, you'll half off your stay. Stay Saturday night to turn your one-day passes into two-day passes free of charge. Just bring your hotel confirmation to the wine showcase.

And if you spent this past Valentine's Day alone, here's your chance to make up for lost time.

A speed-dating session ($30 if purchased by Friday, Feb. 17) will include a free tasting ticket. The mini-dates run from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, but you can continue to mingle with other singles late into the night for the after-party events. Tickets for women are currently sold out, but if a lady gets a man to sign up, they still can sign up.

Meanwhile: Culinary seminars taught by the region's best sommeliers and chefs are included with the price of admission ($25 before Feb. 17 at midnight; $30 after). Enjoy cigar and chocolate pairings as well as olive oil tastings.

The Wine Showcase runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is free in the Crystal City Shops Underground (but not the Marriott -- there, you'll pay $21, so adjust your GPS accordingly). You can also take the Blue Line to Crystal City and skip driving altogether.

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