This Valentine’s Day, if you want to step into your senses and benefit North Bay Fire victims at the same time, check out this hip “Devoured Party” on Feb. 10.

Devoured plays to romantic foodies and wine geeks looking for a date that’s out of the ordinary. Whimsy is included in the five course meal and one example is the wine challenge for blindfolded tasters set within a game of musical chairs. Another activity is a mini class offered on creating playful meals with aphrodisiacs.

Aside from the Devoured dinner party for couples, there’s also a lunch gathering for singles Feb. 10.

What follows is a Q & A with the brainchild of Devoured, Joy Nordenstrom.

Q: What makes the blind-folded tasting such a hit?

A: “Sparked by a fun memory of being asked to choose the wines that flowed during an epic night in 1998 at Shanghai 1930, I had the pleasure of dining with cast members from the Phantom of the Opera and Stevie Wonder. Discussing the nuances of the wines with Stevie always made me curious if I would discover additional levels of flavor and texture if I wasn’t relying so much on my sense of sight. With several of these blind-folded, aroma enhanced wine tastings now under my belt, I have witnessed that when blindfolded individuals have a unique ability to break down the barriers of connection by eliminating the need to be in control and know what is happening around them. It brings an exciting element of vulnerability to the tasting. And how can you not be more playful and flirtatious when playing with blindfolds in a public setting? This unique way of tasting new wines works well because by removing one sense we discover it heightens all the others – textures become more sensual in your mouth, smells more vibrant, and the taste of a piece of fruit or the nibble of chocolate reveals yet another level of flavor in the wine.”

Q: Why does the food and wine world play well with romance?

A: “I believe if more people saw romance as the ability to create a richer life with a greater sense of meaning, they may put their cell phones away to invest more time in strengthening their creative romantic muscles. They would begin to more regularly dream up exciting adventurous chapters in this journey they are blessed to call their life. One of the best parts of thinking this way is becoming more conscious and creative around the meals we make and eat. Cultivating this ability to turn something routine into something special doesn’t take much effort and becomes easier over time.”

Q: Why are you qualified to create these kinds of events?

A: “I have enjoyed guiding individuals in ways to be their best in partnership, since 2007 when Joy of Romance, Inc. officially launched. I believe a key component in thriving relationships is the ability to creatively cultivate and honor special times together. It’s these moments that strengthen the foundation of your partnership, create your love story and allow you to more easily weather the storms. Part of Joy of Romance, Inc. has always incorporated designing and teaching our clients how to implement these types of magical moments around excellent wine and food.”

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