What could be more tempting than wines and chocolates? Two local companies in Naples are elevating these gift items to the level of fine art. If you’re looking for the perfect holiday presents, hostess gifts, or “thank yous” for friends or business associates, look no further than downtown Naples for your answers.
Naples “loves” chocolate
If you’ve attended a Naples gallery opening, charity event, or other gala, chances are you’ve enjoyed Norman Love chocolates. These colorful candies come in flavors both classic — like praline and caramel — and exotic, such as passion fruit and pistachio. In addition to making sumptuous filled chocolates, Norman Love has creates astonishing chocolate novelties such as their life-size chocolate stilleto-heel shoe (we’ve seen it in red and in a leopard print). We’re particularly excited about the new dark chocolate collection, Norman Love Confections BLACK, and the autumn collection featuring Apple Crisp, Pecan Tart, Pumpkin Cheesecake, Caramel Pear, and Maple Cookie and available through the end of October.
If you visit their Naples Chocolate Salon on Tamiami Trail North (or their partner retailer, Sea Salt, on Third Street South) you’ll be delighted to find that they’re also making gourmet gelato. What’s not to love?
A tropical take on fine wine
Oh, yes, we have wines in the tropics. The Naples Winery, with a tasting room on Fifth Avenue South at Tin City, can tell you all about it. The wines produced by the Naples Winery are fruit wines — most of them citrus wines created with Florida citrus fruits and endorsed by the Florida Citrus Commission.
You’ll find sparkling wines (blueberry, cranberry, grapefruit, mango, and tangerine); rich port-style wines (including the chocolate-raspberry Flamingo Fling; and a wine made from a fresh-squeezed juice of a native Florida grape, the Muscadine Noble.
Expanding on the concept of sangrias and other wine-based punches, the Winery sells a wide range of punch mixes, from Blue Sangria to Coco Polada and Parrot Head Peach.
Wines and chocolates make great gifts, but they’re also wonderful to transform your own dinner party into a truly festive event. A Naples Florida Vacation Home with a full-featured kitchen, a dining room, and lanai is ideal for entertaining. Invite friends over for cocktails or put some steaks on the barbecue — then kick back and enjoy.