Wine and chocolate two of my all-time favourite things. So why not combine the two and do a wine and chocolate tasting? Well that’s exactly what we did on Friday 17th February with the help and the chocolate know how from our good friend Neil of Kneals Chocolates.
(Neil of Kneals Chocolates, talking with guests)
Now I must confess unless chocolate comes in some form of dessert it’s not something I would normal pair and enjoy with wine on its own. But regardless of this I’m always willing to give things a second go.
Reading up online trying to match wines with just chocolate by itself is somewhat of a minefield, everything is really geared towards chocolate in dessert form and the subject really seems to divide opinions on what works best if at all.
Now the temptation (and a good excuse) with this tasting would be to pair all the chocolates with dessert wines. However we went with an array of wines to show a plethora of chocolate and wine matching options, and not wanting to brag too much but I think we hit the cocoa bean pretty much on the head. A testament to the amount of emails which had passed between myself and Neil leading up to the tasting.
The wines and their accompanying chocolates . . .
(Chocolates top left to right 1 - 4, bottom left to right 5 -8)
1. Cipriano Frizzante Prosecco
White chocolate with a raspberry crumb.
2. Gardet Brut Tradition Champagne N.V.
A white chocolate vanilla truffle with a milk chocolate and vanilla ganache.
3. Wish Bone Shiraz/Grenache, 2015
A 66.8% Brazilian dark chocolate, this offers hints of tropical fruits
4. Pablo y Walter Malbec, 2014
Sea salt & black pepper
5. Moscato d’Asti Alasia, 2015
A peach melba white chocolate with a peach and raspberry ganache.
6. Kopke 10yr Tawny Port
41% milk chocolate, topped with cocoa nibs.
7. Henriques & Henriques Full Rich Madeira
Sea salt caramel. Milk chocolate with a soft sea salt caramel.
8. Barbadillo Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry
A dark chocolate (70%) soft caramel with a very small amount of sea salt.
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For week 3 we’re focusing on Longridge:
“With a series of awards and a trophy cupboard which, it’s fair to say, is more along the lines of Barcelona than Birmingham City this is a truly impressive line-up. Stars of the show were the ridiculously pretty, The Emily, a Chardonnay/Pinot Noir blend that just cries out to be drunk, a delicate, beautifully balanced 2015 Chardonnay, the truly exceptional, Bordeaux style, Eklipika 2014 – widely regarded as one of the country’s finest reds and, for me the real surprise – Pinotage 2015 – it’s Pinotage Jim but not as we know it; bright, full of sweet red fruit and not a trace of burnt rubber in sight.