College Declassified: Valentine's Chocolate Crash Course

Hello, my lovely readers, and welcome to a special edition of College Declassified: Valentine’s Day Crash Course. Today, we’ll be going over the most important part of this romantic holiday- the chocolate. In this chapter, we’ll be ranking five chocolate boxes that can be found at your local Target or Walmart for under $15, with an editor’s note of the some of the best alcoholic beverages to pair with them. Because let’s be real; who needs a man when you’ve got chocolate and booze that doesn’t break the bank?

  1. 1. Whitman's Sampler, $9.98

    Coming in at number one, our best sampler box is Whitman’s Sampler box, a classic in the Walmart seasonal aisle. While this chocolate is a little sweet, there is still a distinct difference in each piece, with several flavor profiles available inside one box. At $9.98, this box is a steal, providing you with a sweet and satisfying experience with a variety of options to choose from.

  2. 2. Godiva Valentine's Day Goldmark, $13.99

    Ranked at number two is our Godiva chocolate box. We loved the quality present in the box, but the variety left something to be desired when compared to the Whitman’s Sampler. It’s worth your coin for the lovely smoothness and rich quality of the chocolate, and a great choice if you’re looking for a little taste of luxury. If you’re looking for a box to deliver that wow factor for your SO, this is the box for you.

  3. 3. Ghiradelli’s Valentine’s Milk and Caramel Duet Hearts, $4.99

    Number three is Ghiradelli’s Valentine’s Milk and Caramel Duet Heart’s bag-box hybrid. Yes, you read that right. It lost points for the non-traditional packaging and lack of flavor profile (it only includes milk and caramel chocolates, as per the name), but at $4.99 it’s more cost efficient than the Godiva and you know exactly what you’re getting with it. If you're the kind of gal that knows what she wants and isn't afraid to show it, this box is right up your alley.

  4. 4. Russell Stover's Assorted Valentine's Chocolates, $9.98

    Russell Stover’s offering ranks just below the Ghiradelli chocolate box. At the standard $9.98, the variety was there, in theory, but our panel of reviewers said that it was too sweet to really see a difference between pieces. Most of the flavors were difficult to distinguish from each other, and while they did taste like chocolate, we felt like you could get a similar but higher quality with our frontrunner from Whitman’s.

  5. 5. Russell Stover's Assorted Valentine's Chocolates, $1.00

    Finally, coming in at number five is Russell Stover’s $1 box, if only for the nostalgia of middle school’s secret admirers; though if I’m honest, I’d prefer to forget that middle school ever existed. There are reasons to prefer this box, of course- as one of our panelists said, “this is the box for if you forgot to pick up something for your 1 month anniversary”, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s got all the terrible quality of the previous entry with none of the variety, and you’d probably be better off with a bag of Skittles from a vending machine.

Alcoholic Beverage Pairings

As for alcoholic beverages to go with your chocolate pick, we can recommend a good whiskey or bourbon. The sharpness of the hard liquor is soothed by the sugars and fats in the chocolate, and the sugary sweetness is tempered by the fiery spice of the whiskey, leading to a lovely all around experience. My personal favorite is a William Evans bourbon; it goes down smooth even without the chocolate to ease the burn, with hints of vanilla and cherry.

Wine Pairings

If you really want to class it up with a nice bottle of wine, remember to pair the color of your wine to the type of chocolate. A red pairs well with milk and dark chocolate, and a white will bring out the flavors in your white chocolate. Just remember to keep it sweet. As for recommendations, a fan favorite was JK’s pinot noir, scoring high on our panel for its refined sweetness and soft and supple mouthfeel. You can find it at Kroger for $9.99. We also deeply enjoyed Trapiche’s malbec for $5.99 at Kroger, although it didn’t quite fit with the overly sugary flavor profiles of our Walmart chocolates. We recommend pairing it with your Valentine’s dinner instead of your Valentine’s chocolates, as the savory spiciness would pair well with a rich cream pasta sauce or a nice steak.

 

And there you have it; the best cheap Valentine's Day chocolate boxes, as ranked by yours truly! One last tip- you're going to get the best deals on Feburary 15th, so stock up your stash then. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to drop a comment about what you want me to review next!