Tasting Wine & Chocolate
You know what they say about things like getting paid to taste wine with chocolate: it’s hard work, but somebody has to do it. And this month that somebody is me.
A couple of days ago, I gathered a nice selection of truffles from Farmhouse Truffles of Bristol and tasted each of them with Marquette. The ancho chile pepper truffle played off the spiciness of the wine nicely, but it was a touch too piquant. The fresh vanilla bean, on the other hand, brought out the smoothness of the wine. The richness of the chocolate and wine were perfectly balanced, each deepening the flavors of the other. We’ll be offering this pairing for the event!
Yesterday, I stopped by Middlebury Chocolates‘ beautiful space on Frog Hollow Alley to taste with Stephanie and Andy. They actually make chocolate from scratch– sourcing and roasting cocoa beans, grinding and making chocolate. I’d asked them for chocolate to pair with our Cassis, and they had two possibilities in mind. Both the chocolates were still in the grinder, and the samples Andy pulled were smooth, thick sauces. We tasted and debated the chocolates with Cassis, and settled on an usually tart chocolate from Akesson Estate in Madagascar. Though the other, more mellow chocolate might have been the “safe bet,” the tangy fruitiness of the Madagascan matched the same qualities in Cassis. The pair was intriguing and delicious. It’s a limited edition bar from Middlebury Chocolates, and I’m excited I can share it with you!
Last week, Chris and I tasted our wines with treats from Daily Chocolate. I wasn’t sure what I would find. Jen had convinced me to take a few chocolates featuring coconut. I love coconut. I could eat plain unsweetened coconut flakes all day. But I was skeptical about pairing that distinctive flavor with wine. We came to one quick conclusion: coconut and red wine is not a great combo.
Coconut and La Crescent, however, was unexpectedly intriguing and delicious. Our La Crescent wine already is chock-full of vibrant fruitiness– citrus notes dominate, with undertones of pear and tropical fruits. The coconut and almond of the Delightful Bar (pictured above, front and center) brought out the tropical side of La Crescent in a way I hadn’t tasted before. And that is what I love about trying new pairings; the best ones make you see (taste) a familiar wine in a new light.
Join us Feb 14 & 15 to taste these combinations at Wine and Chocolate Weekend.