A few weeks back, when we were doing our usual pairings at the Port Jefferson’s Farmer’s Market, a customer came up and asked if we had ever paired our chocolates with a wine called Educated Guess. He had ordered it for his daughter’s wedding, boasting it’s affordability and it’s taste, so we tried it. Agreeing with his description, we decided to call Kira Swain, who lives in San Francisco. Being a wine connoisseur, she agreed to do a taste testing with Chocology Chocolates and our newly found Educated Guess. She also agreed to write about her findings for us.
Kira is a long time friend and fan of Chocology. She’s been blogging on various blogs since 2004 and is a chocolate and wine enthusiast. She lives in the Bay Area in California with her dogs Winston and Lulu.
It is with great excitement that we publish Kira’s findings on our blog this week. She made it fun by turning it into a tasting party. Read on to find out how Chocology Chocolates paired with Educated Guess. You’ll be glad you did!
A Tasting in San Francisco
When Linda reached out to me to see if I would be interested in doing a wine and chocolate pairing, I immediately said, “YES!” Since Chocology chocolates have such complex and rich flavors, I thought it would be really interesting to see what paired well with the red wines selected. I had only done chocolate and wine pairings before onsite at the vineyards. Usually the chocolate was selected to enhance the flavor of the wine and not so much for the flavor of the chocolate so I was curious to see how wine would affect the flavors of these rich chocolates.
I invited a few girlfriends over, bought a bottle of Educated Guess Cabernet and a bottle of the J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet for this tasting. I’ve had both wines on separate occasions and enjoy both. I’m generally more partial to the Educated Guess because it has more of the dusty, tannic tastes I’m preferential to when it comes to cabs. The J. Lohr has more of a fruity finish to me and while I enjoy the wine, given the option between these two, I tended to gravitate towards Educated Guess when drinking them (with chocolate I mean). Both bottles were from 2013.
I never get tired of admiring Chocology chocolates! There is so much detail and artistry in each chocolate. The colors, the shapes and the decorative accents come together in each chocolate for a perfect “visual treat” (as well as an edible one). I did my best to assemble the chocolates so that we could all see the different colors and all the tiny details in these chocolates. Using plain white plates created a good contrast between the different chocolates.
Each box of Chocology chocolates has a little insert that talks about the art of tasting chocolate so I read that out loud to my guests. I passed out paper and pens so that they could write down some notes from the pairings that we did. I then cut the chocolates into smaller chunks, wiping the knife in between the chocolates. This way we could all taste a little bit of different ones.
We tasted the 88%, Tahitian Mocha, Mimosa, Lavender Fields, Cherry Tart, UB40, Shangri-La, 5th Ave, and Fleur de Chocolate. We wanted to taste more but we didn’t have any room in our stomachs! We talked about which ones we liked best and wrote down some notes about the different flavor combinations:
- The 88% is really smooth and creamier than your average dark chocolate. It paired exceptionally well with the Educated Guess
- The white chocolate covering in the Tahitian Mocha added a nice creaminess to the coffee center and paired really well with both reds (though we preferred the Educated Guess)
- Fleur De Chocolate had a nuttier flavor after taking a sip of the wines and was a pleasant surprise
- The UB40 was delicious on its own but didn’t go as well as we hoped with the two reds, we thought it would go better with a good light pinot noir
- The Shangri La was very creamy and you could taste hints of vanilla which went really well with both reds
- The Cherry Tart was another very creamy chocolate that paired well with the red wines where the wine enhanced the cherry flavors
- The Lavender chocolate was amazing on it’s own with subtle lavender hints and delicious caramel. However, this was one that we felt didn’t pair as well with the selected reds, maybe a Syrah or Pinot Noir would be better, especially an earthy Pinot like the ones from Oregon
- The Mimosa was a very light and citrusy surprise! However, it did not taste right with the red wines, the reds were too heavy
Overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the complex flavors of the chocolates and what we tasted when we took a sip of the wines. Some made the flavors pop more after the sip and others brought forward different flavors. We had a great time comparing notes and sharing our thoughts about each of the chocolates and the wines. It was definitely a great evening and we all left with some newfound knowledge of chocolate and wine.
The biggest take away for me was that the Mimosa chocolate is one tasty little chocolate! I really want to pair it with some fresh fruit and crisp champagne as a “dessert” after brunch and I plan on ordering some for the next brunch I host! I also really loved the complex flavor of the Lavender one because I had never had a chocolate/lavender combo. It was such a surprise and the creamy caramel hints were just perfect. I plan on ordering a box of my favorites and trying them out with my favorite Oregon Pinots!