Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Chocolate Shop: The Chocolate Lover's Wine

You already know that I don't drink a lot of alcohol. But when I do, I like to approach it the same way I have learned to approach chocolate: sense by sense, detail by detail. I haven't learned all the vocabulary or gained all the expertise yet, and perhaps never will, but I still try to be methodical. What better union, then, than chocolate and wine combined?

The first chocolate wine I tried, which was also from World Market, looked like chocolate milk and tasted like an infusion of a chocolate beverage with wine. This one, however, has a sleeker and more serious look. It was still around ten dollars, so it of course is not going to be a fine wine--but how much truly fine wine does the average person drink, anyway?

A brown label with lacy, gold lettering sticks onto the dark green bottle. The liquid's label is "red wine with natural dark chocolate flavors." Much unlike that other chocolate wine, this version from The Chocolate Shop pours just like a sweet red wine, clear and vibrant. Its taste and aroma is all berries, what (if this were cacao instead of wine) would classify it as Madagascan. The chocolate flavor is, if anything, subtle--perhaps too subtle for my tastes. It's a dessert wine, though not the sweetest one I have had.

Don't admonish me for it, but I find that I enjoy this wine best poured over ice. The ice melts just enough to dilute the alcohol flavor and keep the liquid cool. I mean, it isn't as if I chose this bottle because it was wine: it was for the chocolate. All for the chocolate.

I wonder if it might pair well in dessert recipes. If Kahlua can go over cake or ice cream, why not chocolate wine? Or how about half a glass to go with flourless chocolate cake? I feel like pairing this wine with a chocolate that already has its own array of flavor notes (say, something from Amano) might be too much; perhaps try it with Ghirardelli's more simple Twilight Delight?

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