The Winter Fancy Food Show in February at the convention center in Las Vegas, provided many chances to learn more about food products.
At the Vine to Bar Chocolates booth, we learned that their chocolates contain amounts of Chardonnay Marc. I am not an avid wine drinker and had never heard of Chardonnay Marc. Chardonnay Marc consists of grape skins, seeds, and stems, and is a co-product of grape juice production for Chardonnay wine making. The discovery that Marc contains a rich source of health-promoting molecules has led to its growing popularity as a flavorful healthy food ingredient. The Marc is used in the production of four varieties of dark chocolates.
We were offered the opportunity to attend a wine pairing event and learn more. Wine and Chocolates – how can you turn that down? So after the convention center closed for the day, we made our way nex door to the Renaissance Hotel for a special presentation.
The event was moderated by Michael Jordan, who is a wine expert with Kendall Jackson Vineyards. He stated that most folks pair chocolates with sweet wines, but that chocolates taste best with dry wines.
We tasted the chocolates with four different wines. These were a Rose of Pinot Noir from La Crema paired with dark chocolate, a Vinter’s Reserve Chardonnay from Kendall Jackson paired with chocolate with smoked salt and cocoa nibs , A Hartford Court Pinot Noir Russian River Valley paired with Tart Cherry and Cocoa Nibs, and Murphy Goode Liar’s Dice Zinfandel paired with chocolate containing Almonds and Pink Himalayan salt. They were all great combinations.
Ralph Jerome, a food scientist and chocolatier, the former head of global innovation Mars Inc was an important participant in the event. He explained that good chocolate has a sheen if it includes good cocoa butter with a sharp melting point. It should also exhibit a sharp snap when broken.
Jordan and Jerome added additional comments regarding wine drinking and chocolate eating. We learned that you should let the chocolate melt in your mouth and let the wine cleanse your pallet. Before drinking wine, you should spin it in your glass in order to coat it; then carefully sniff the edge of the glass to pick up the aromas.
We were told – among other things – not to drink ice water after eating chocolate. And not to pair high acid or high tannic wines with chocolate. It just doesn’t go well.
My wile Dianne and I found the event interesting and enjoyable and pleasing to the pallet. We are ready to order some Vine to Bar Chocolates to go with our wine. For more information, check out Vine To Bar
Story by Burt Davis and Dianne Davis
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