Since lessons in palate refinement are never a poor date choice, consider reserving a couple of spots at Venissimo Cheese’s February 16 tasting event which takes place at its Del Mar location. Those who attend will sample cuts of Venissimo’s curated collection of quesos with champagne and chocolate. Tasters also get a 10% in-store discount on purchases made that evening. $50/person, venissimo.com // Photo courtesy of Venissimo Cheese
Looking for something less focused on lactose? Then check out Bacchus Wine Market. On February 14 and 15, the Downtown darling plays host to a fromage-free tasting event listed on its website as “Port, Bubbly, & Chocolate.” Per Karin Kiser, Bacchus’ resident wine specialist and educator, tasters typically enjoy pours of a white port, a ruby port, a Pedro Ximenez sherry, Italian prosecco, French Crémant, and French Champagne alongside three different types of chocolates. Book ahead or just show up–admission is breezy until the tasting room is at capacity. $25/person, bacchuswinemarket.com // Photo by Christine Pasalo
In what seems like an effort to help couples beat the Valentine’s Day rush, Davanti Enoteca in Little Italy is hosting an intimate 5-course prix fixe dinner on Wednesday, February 12. Each course is paired with a specific wine, but take note: you’ve got to be an omnivore to get the most of the evening. Only 16 more seats are available for the rustic and Italian-inspired dinner which takes place from 7-10 p.m. and includes a poached lobster dish, a bone-in pork chop main, and a Julian apple bread pudding dessert. $75/person, davantisandiego.com // Photo courtesy of Davanti Enoteca Little Italy
A night at the movies takes a literal spin at Cinema Under the Stars, an outdoor movie venue in Mission Hills. Slated to project in HD on its 20-foot screen on February 14 and 15 is “About Time,” a rom-com with a time traveling twist from the creators of “Notting Hill” and “Love Actually,” and starring Rachel McAdams (”The Notebook”). Though the theatre boasts four types of seating, I recommend nabbing the zero-gravity recliners because they’re nap-time comfortable. And there’s no need to worry about feeling a chill from the February air: the venue is weatherproofed to keep everyone dry and warm. TIP: Bring cash for movie snacks. $17/person if seats reserved ahead of time, $15/person if purchased the night of. Seats are limited, so reservations are recommended. topspresents.com // Photo by Eric Rife for KPBS
If you prefer live, on-stage entertainment, then head down to the Horton Grand Theatre in the Gaslamp Quarter to see The 39 Steps, a Lamb’s Players production. Adapted from the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, this smart and hilarious play follows falsely-accused-of-murder Richard Hannay as he dodges London police to prove his innocence, attempts to foil the spy ring known as The 39 Steps, and finds an ally (and romantic interest) in an attractive woman. Talk about multitasking. General admission $28-58; half-off for active military with ID; $5 off for Seniors 66 and over. lambsplayers.org // Photo by Christine Pasalo
Want more ideas? For 40+ date recommendations, take a look at last year’s “It’s A Date!” feature in San Diego Magazine (co-authored by yours truly).