If you are a chocolate lover and a red wine drinker, you’ve probably found bliss pairing bittersweet chocolate with an in-your-face California zinfandel. Let’s face it, chocolate and red wine has been the most reliable pairing in history. But sometimes, you want something a little different, so what do you do?
Reach for the ultimate in chocolate and wine pairing: Chocolate Shop!
Chocolate Shop is a red wine from Walla Walla, Washington that has been blended with natural dark chocolate to create what the winemaker calls “the ultimate Chocolate Lover’s Wine.”
The label on the Chocolate Shop, which is made by Precept Wine of Seattle, says it’s a red wine blended with natural dark chocolate flavors and has an alcohol level of 12.5 percent. Accordng to the label, the wine takes the chocolate and red wine pairing to the next level, “marrying chocolate flavor with red wine to create a sumptuous drink. We start with a proprietary red blend of the finest vinifera varietals, add a touch of oak and a kiss of sweetness to create the perfect fruit-driven foil for the rich dark chocolate which unfolds in silken layers across the palate.”
Sounds scrumptious, doesn’t it?
With chocolate-flavored wine becoming one of the hottest growth areas in alcoholic beverages in New Jersey, this wine definitely needed to be investigated further. There is no information on the label about the grapes, but it is a safe bet that it’s made from a traditional blend of Washington state grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc.
Deep, ruby red in color, it looks like a red wine. Inviting aromas of black cherry and dark chocolate waft from the glass, it makes you want to take a sip.
The first sip is deceiving, it tastes like a simple fruity black cherry flavored wine. But then light red berry wine flavor becomes a smooth, lively palate that artfully mixing an earthiness, hints of herbs and cocoa powder that leads to a dark-chocolate extract flavor for a velvety chocolate finish.
Athough the chocolate finish was reminiscent of Hershey’s syrup, nuances of sweet red wine berries lingered. If you’re fond of chocolate-covered raspberry or chocolate covered blueberries, you are sure to be a fan of this wine’s lush chocolate flavor wrapped in fruity flavors and a smooth silky finish. The most surprising thing about this wine, it isn’t overly sweet, dry wine drinkers will be pleasantly surprised by this little gem.
As for pairing the wine, the obvious choice would be to pair it with dark chocolate, at least 70 percent cacao, the higher the better. Raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, dark cherry or even orange based dishes or desserts would lend themselves well to pairing with the Chocolate Shop. Sweet glazed ham, molé or a steak in Merlot sauce would also make good companions for this bottle.
The chocolate shop also lends itself to a variety of cocktails, cooking or simply mixed with sparkling water and an orange twist. Yummy! It’s best served at room temperature or slightly chilled.
The label has it right: “Chocolate Shop provides you with an indulgent wine experience like no other.”