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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Wine and Chocolate, Ken's First Time

Wine PairingPosted by Intern Ken:
Pairing wine with chocolates is more fun than I could have imagined. On Monday we were tasked with finding the perfect complement to three different wines from a new wine bar, opening soon in the Corn Hill neighborhood. Three different bottomless glasses of wine, and every ingredient and truffle in the kitchen until we found The One. All of the wines we were pairing were red wines, and while I knew each would be remarkably different than the next, I was surprised at how dramatically the nuances of each wine affected its relationship with the corresponding truffle. New to this process, I asked for some tips about how to choose a proper truffle, and the answer I got was frustratingly simple and spiritually delicious: “Sip the wine, pick a chocolate, eat it, sip the wine again and see if what you tasted before is better now. Repeat.” Really.

I led with a hazelnut truffle that I thought would pair with notes of coffee and raspberry. No good. I thought raspberry seemed too easy, but since it wasn’t a raspberry beverage and the dark chocolate still weighed heavily on the truffle's influence, our raspberry truffle hit that wine in all the right places. On a smokier wine, the lapsang souchoung was an obvious soulmate, but I was also happy to find that the hazelnut I missed with earlier did well this time, particularly with the sea salt adorning the top. On our third wine we tried espresso, different teas, and some crazy spicy truffles, but found a winner in sampling dark chocolate, cherry and almond together.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to experiment with wines and chocolates, you really need to play this game. Get a box of maybe ten truffles of your choosing, and open some wine with someone. You'll always win, and I promise it’s a journey you’ll want to take again and again.

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