IF YOUR VALENTINE is a foodie (and most likely a locavore, too), home-grown might really be where the heart is. Wooing your sweetie with gourmet delights created in the area — D.C.-roasted coffee, Virginia-born bonbons — wipes out the need for long-distance culinary romance. Besides, many of these treats taste better and seem more heartfelt than yet another box of Godiva chocolate-covered whatevers. Perhaps most surprising, “Sparkling wine made in Virginia stands up to pricier French champagne,” says David Gwathmey of Grape + Bean (118 S. Royal St., Alexandria; 703-664-0214), which stocks bubbly by Charlottesville’s Thibaut-Janisson. And who knows? Maybe such super-fresh goodies will help you get fresh with your latest crush.
» Thibaut-Janisson’s Virginia Blanc de Chardonnay smells flowery, and tastes bubbly and crisp. Made in Charlottesville, this standout sparkler was poured at President Obama’s first state dinner, so it’s probably fancy enough for your private Valentine’s Day gala. ($30, Grape + Bean, 118 S. Royal St., Alexandria; 703-664-0214)
» Exotic combos — dark chocolate with pink peppercorn; white chocolate with coconut and lime — belie the fact that Fleurir Chocolates bonbons are made in Reston, Va. Proceeds from sales of the Heart’s Delight box, shown, sold via the chocolatier’s site ($18), benefit the American Heart Association. You can also score the sweets by the pound at Biagio Fine Chocolates. (1904 18th St. NW; 202-328-1506)
» Former Hill staffers created Pork Barrel BBQ sauce and rub, spicy blends that’ll have your pookie smacking his or her lips before locking ’em with yours. ($10 for both)
» Qualia Coffee owner Joel Finkelstein sources beans in small batches from Bali, Ethiopia and Honduras, then roasts them here in D.C. The result: Rich, fresh brews that buzzily say, “I love you.” ($10 a bag, Qualia Coffee, 3917 Georgia Ave. NW; 202-248-6423)
Written by Express contributor Erin Hartigan