October 17, 2003
Just a quick note about this because I have to go to the Rococo port and dessert tasting in five minutes!We tasted three dessert wines with different chocolates. As a bit of a novice when it comes to wine I found this really fasinating ,approaching chocolate as a science balancing the sweetness of wines with more bitter chocolate and vice versa. I really like the way that Pierre Marcolini infuses flavours into his chocolates instead of just adding the raw ingredient.I tasted a really delicious chocolate ganache infused with violet,a really nice and subtle flavour .The dessert wines were Domaine Pouderoux from france,Domaine du la rectoire Banyuls and a vintage ma mas Amiel.
I have always found dessert wines to be over sweet and over powering, so i am intrigued by the idea of matching sweet dessert wines with bitter chocolate. I would have thought that the sweetness of the wine would have been further exaggerated by any bitter chocolate and thus been even more unpalatable. Obviously this wasn't the case with your tasting, could you elaborate further about the different chocolates and how they complimented the wines mentioned. How was the Rocco port and dessert tasting? Who led the tasting?
As a wine fan I have been very interested in people's choices of wine to drink with chocolate. I have experimented with dessert wines (both white and red <Mauri is an interesting selection>)and found some fair matches but have often been confused by the sugar content.
I have found that full bodied dry red wines have proved the more satisfying match for me.
A full bodied shiraz or earthy black such as a malbec have worked better. I think honest wines generally serve to make one try harder. I am aware that many people believe that tannins can render a subtle chocolate impotent. However I think that the apparent confusion of a full bodied red combined with a high percentage chocolate can produce results that are greater than the sum of their individual parts.
Take a full bodied Australian Shiraz (is there any other kind) and swig with a mouthful of any fruity chocolate and revel in the 'mouth bomb'. Alternatively try with a vintage Cahors wine and marvel at the massively complex taste sensation.
the type of wine used was 'vin doux naturel' a (in this case red) wine that gets a little neutral alcohol added during fermentation. This interupts the fermentation, leaving the wine with a higher then usual sugar content. then the wine matures so the tannic element diminishes and flavours develop. People like the wine critic of the FT (Ms. Robinson)generaly agree with the consensus that this sort of wine is well suited with chocolate.
Mr Marcolini said that you want a wine that enhances or sublimates the chocolate, not overpower it...
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