On Wednesday, July 11th a group of local purveyors gathered for a special wine and chocolate tasting. The staff from Colonial Spirits along with our friends and staff from The Happy Chocolatier, joined Ken Hoggins and a few members of his wine tasting panel in Acton for a fun evening of wine and chocolate evaluation.
The concept behind the tasting was to find out which wines went best with various chocolates provided by The Happy Chocolatier. Over the course of the evening, the panel tried close to twenty wines and came away recommending five of them as the best wines to pair with the different chocolates.
The first wine that we really liked in the pairing was the 2010 Elio Perrone Moscato d’Asti "Sourgal," for $20. It was light-bodied, slightly effervescent, and lively. The group really enjoyed its slightly sweet and tangy green apple and clementine flavors. The group thought this was the best wine to enjoy with the white chocolate truffle with a white chocolate ganache center.
For the next pairing, we went a little sweeter. The 2011 Dr. Pauly Bergweiler "Bernkasteler alte Badstube am Doctorberg Auslese Riesling" is a terrific wine on its own, but it was truly elevated by the white chocolate bark from The Happy Chocolatier. The panel loved the wine’s light body and elegance. Its delicious gentle apple and ripe pear flavors with faint hints of minerality and a touch of tangerine made it hard to resist. Pairing it with the white chocolate bark, just took the whole experience to another level.
Our next wine and chocolate pairing was the Sea Salt Caramel with Milk Chocolate and the 2009 Columbia Crest "H3" Merlot. The 2009 "H3" level offerings from Columbia Crest have been a great find and value in the mid-teen price range, making it very popular among readers. The 2009 Merlot is medium-bodied, balanced, and easy to drink. Its mild blueberry flavors with notes of plum and vanilla oak were a nice compliment to caramel and milk chocolate. Be sure to give this combination a try.
For you dark chocolate fans, we found a couple of gems for you as well. The 2009 Chateau Thivin "Cote de Brouilly," for $25, was a perfect match for The Happy Chocolatier's 55% cocoa dark chocolate with roasted almond bark. This wine from a Beaujolais Cru is medium-bodied, slightly acidic and mouthwatering. Its tasty flavor profile is a ripe plum with notes of black currant and a hint of old oak. This pairing went so well together that many of us choose to have a little more of both.
Finally, we ended with a wine that went best with both of the richest chocolates of the night. The Masi 2008 "Campofiorin," for $16, is a very good wine. When we paired it with The Happy Chocolatier's 55% cocoa dark chocolate with roasted almond bark it rose to a whole new level. It is medium-bodied, balanced and smooth with pleasant mild red cherry flavors with hints of very mild old oak and a hint of gentle plum and craisin. It finishes dry and its moderate tannins are a bit dusty which matched nicely with the chocolate. The panel even went so far as to envision this wine as their s'mores wine. They suggested a sandwich mix of The Happy Chocolatier's 70% cocoa dark chocolate disc, melted marshmallow, and honey graham crackers. Yum!
So now that I have teased you quite a bit, we will give you a chance to try some of these gems for yourself. The Happy Chocolatier and Colonial Spirits are going to be conducting an in-store tasting for the public on Friday, October 19th from 4-7 pm at Colonial Spirits in Acton. If you love chocolate and wine, you are going to love this event. Mark your calendars and prepare to indulge yourselves! Have fun and enjoy. Cheers! – Ken
Ken Hoggins is the President of KensWineGuide.com. His blog was recently voted the winner of the 2012 "Best Wine Reviews on a Wine Blog".