Brelsford wine and chocolate

WSU’s Brelsford Visitor Center will host Dancing Chocolate and sparkling wine tasting from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Dancing Chocolate is a new Pullman-based online chocolatier. Dancing Chocolate will debut new chocolates to pair with a sample of WSU’s Blended Learning Brut Rosé sparkling wine.

The Visitor Center will serve the wine with a heart-shaped dark chocolate in it.

The first 100 visitors will receive a free champagne-flavored Mini-Spuffle Truffle, said Elizabeth Rudd, marketing and promotions coordinator for the visitor center. She said a “spuffle” is a truffle made in a spoon.

The half-ounce spuffles will be served in spoons so you can savor each bite without having the truffle melt in your fingers, said co-owner of Dancing Chocolate Vicki Leeper.

This will be the first time Dancing Chocolate will serve its products to anyone other than testers, Leeper said.

The company got its name from the way the dark chocolates dance in sparkling wine, she said. Dancing Chocolate will officially launch on Saturday.

Its line of chocolates is spirits-themed, with flavors like champagne, strawberry daiquiri, piña colada and blushing mimosa, she said.

A variety of Dancing Chocolate flavors will be available for purchase at the visitor center throughout Mom’s Weekend.

Karma Vineyards winemaker Craig Mitrakul and owner Julie Pittsinger, WSU alumni, created Blended Learning Brut Rosé as a celebration of the grand opening of the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities, Rudd said.

WSU Tri-Cities’ Wine Science Center opened in Richland in summer 2015.

Blended Learning Brut Rosé combines flavors from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Pittsinger said.

“We make it using traditional French methods,” Pittsinger said. “The wine is fermented in the bottle for two years.”

Karma Vineyards chooses not to infuse its wines with carbon dioxide because they prefer to make sparkling wines the natural way, Pittsinger said.

Karma Vineyards has been talking to WSU Tri-Cities about using its sparkling wine facility as a training ground for WSU students, she said.

Blended Learning wines are available at the WSU Connections stores in Everett, Spokane and Seattle. They are also available for order by contacting Debbie Schwenson at WSU Tri-Cities.

Last year, nearly 900 people visited the visitor center on Mom’s Weekend, Rudd said.

“We anticipate at least the same turnout as last year, but are hoping to double our numbers,” Rudd said.

The Visitor Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 8, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 9 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 10. The Brelsford Visitor Center is located at 150 E Spring St.