“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of being well-preserved, but to skid sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, still screaming, ‘Whoo, what a ride!” – Theresa Hollis
Chocolate and wine are more often than not symbols of decadence. One can easily associate these with lavish parties thrown by European royalty during the Renaissance, romantic “situations” (from proper courtship to fancy dinners and passionate trysts) between lovers, or even a special gathering with friends.
I’ve written an article on how to pair chocolates with beverages that aren’t wine, but how does one do a choco-wine pairing? Here are interesting suggestions I found in “What to Drink with What You Eat” by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page:
- Madeira (preferably made from Bual or Malmsey Grape)
- Port (Ruby, Tawny, or Vintage; Tawny or Vintage are highly recommended for Dark Chocolate)
- PX Sherry (there are two general types of Sherries according to sweetness, and the ones made with the Palomino grapes are completely dry and the direct opposite of the PX, short for Pedro Ximenez).
- Muscat (especially Beaumes-de-Venise or Orange for Milk Chocolate)
If one is looking for a good (and proudly Pinoy) chocolate to pair with, I highly recommend using Auro Chocolates (named so as an homage and wordplay to the chemical symbol for gold, Au; and Oro, which is Spanish for gold).
First, we believe in their “bean-to-bar” concept where the people behind Auro help Davao-based farmers create a sustainable, fair trade business through holistic programs. They also incentivise and train agriculturists on how to improve their practices, ensuring improved quality and better prices.
Second, we were amazed at their strive to preserve our chocolate heritage. As the only Spanish colony in Southeast Asia, we were the first in the region to grow cacao and create “hot chocolate” in the form of tsokolate (added trivia: The Royal Spanish Academy, the authority on the Spanish language, believes that “chocolate” came to Spain from the Nahuatl words “xococ” which meant “sour” or “bitter”, and “atl” which meant “water” or “drink”) from discs of ground cocoa nibs called tablea. In relation to this, Auro has discovered out long lost (and extremely rare) heritage cacao variety, the Criollo Porcelana.
Thirdly (and most importantly), the chocolates are delicious. We’ve tried experimenting on the bars with the recommended pairings as mentioned in Dornenburg and Page’s book and we were pleasantly surprised with how well they matched.
That being said, I still see a lot of chocolates and wine left over on my desk, so… 😉 Cheers!
Wine photos courtesy of The Study by Enderun. Different wine classes are conducted in their venue in Podium’s 4th floor (including WSET certifications for Level 1 & 2), some of which are conducted by the author. For inquiries, please contact +632 6553609, or refer to their website: www.thestudyph.com
Special thanks to Auro Chocolate for letting us experiment with the chocolate bars. For further information on the chocolates, please refer to their website: www.aurochocolate.com