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Chocolate & Wine Party
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wrks4choc
Hopewell Junction, USA
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February 7, 2007 - 8:20 pm
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In this great forum has anyone successfully done a wine and chocolate party?? I'm starting to break into this and wonder where I start! Do you just get chocolate from different origins and pair wines with each selection? I pair desserts with wines and that's what I want to do, but a wine and chocolate party I think suggests something other than just desserts, so please help! Does this mean I have to do a formal chocolate tasting?? HELP!!! Thanks!

Keep it Sweet!

Keep it Sweet!
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Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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February 7, 2007 - 9:00 pm
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Will it be wine together with chocolate bars or filled chocolate (Pralines, Truffels etc)? What type of whine will you provide? Port?

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
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Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
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February 7, 2007 - 9:46 pm
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I hold one or two tastings of chocolate and wine every month, each time for 20-50 people. After the first bites, the ambiance gets very-very friendly, so it's quite hard to have a bad time on these occasions.
If you wish to do something that'll surely be successful, choose a good port (in fact fortified wines are for me not really wine, though I love ports) and pair it either with pralines or black or milk chocolate, most of the time you gonna have a good result. One role is sure: always taste the wine first before putting anything chocolatey into your mouth to prevent taste buds being covered by a thin layer of cocoa butter. This will help people fully appreciate the actual wine. Other good sweet wines either Canadian icewines or French Banyuls will do a good job with dark choc as well. If you are out to a field with more challenges, go for dry reds with some chocolate, but here you'll have to experiment a lot (well it's not that bad job either...). US Zins or Merlots and Aussie Shirazes will be almost surely a success. But be careful with the quality of wine you choose-a bad wine will be worse with chocolate. You might want to go over the USD 20-30 level per bottle. (OK, I simplify a lot but basically wines must be of the best available quality). Here in Hungary I had very good experience with full bodied Cabernet Francs and natural sweet Tokaji Aszus 6p-type(that one you can get in the US as well, but not over USD 50 per bottle). Other advices can be given by mail, I have a table. If I were you I'd put two reds, one sweet or port and one experimental pairing that'd shock'em. Then it's up to you what pralines, desserts or origin bars you pair. According to my experience it's better to focus on wine as a lead. And if it's a party, you can also play to achieve a kind of "natural high" that'll be surely achieved and instead of analysing different pairing sensations, focus on the common effect of the active substances in choc and wine. Depends a lot on the public.

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wrks4choc
Hopewell Junction, USA
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February 8, 2007 - 12:44 pm
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Thanks for the great advice, I'm not a big fan of dessert wines and I make it a point to pair everything from Cabernet's to beajoulas, to champagne's with my desserts! My bigger question is do you just put out different types of chocolates and matching them with wine and just pass them around? I'm really tempted to do some desserts and the chocolates, but I wanted to get a better feel for how it's being done out there. What is the verbage? Do you explain the complexities of the wine and chocolate, describe the different origins the chocolate comes from or is that too boring for people??

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Domenico
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February 8, 2007 - 2:12 pm
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We almost always work together with the sommelier and yes, we do give explanations and sometimes complex ones about the wine and the chocolate. The quality of these explanations depends really on the public. You can have a rough estimation from which background they come from and adapt the depth or width of the talk to that. At least in the beginning a very basic 4-6 sentences about how to use your tasting senses-what tastes you feel on the side of the tongue, what on the tip etc. I usually tell funny facts about chocolate, too. So I never sort of leave them "alone"-neither the paired desserts and wines (each time a new one comes, it will be presented) nor the audience. And, sometimes the whole event is organized around a concept (like "passion", or "metamorphosis" or "contradictions", or "cacao people" whatever)-there is good live music or some "performance" in connection with that concept. I've never seen them bored of the explanations! OK, there was an exemption: when once the sommelier talked about roast depths of barrique oak wood and the resulting reaction speed differences of polyphenol condensation with the wine. The personal story of the process of creating a particular dessert or a particular pairing could also be very interestingly presented-they'll appreciate it much more.
Champagne is a great idea, I found Amedei Madagascar to be a good pairing (see also jeff_z's post from Tokyo). But tell me if you find something that goes well with a Beaujolais (not necessarily nouveau ! [;)])

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Masur
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February 14, 2007 - 6:09 am
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Try Amedei Porcelana and Demi-Sec Champagne. Demi-Sec Champagne should also work with white chocolate.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
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