Food Porn

UNHASHING PAIRING WINE & CHOCOLATE

By on November 21, 2015

chocolate wine pic

Two months ago, I was presented with the opportunity to leave my 8 – 6 office job to manage a local artisanal chocolate shop. How perfect. I said yes.

Since then, I’m immersed in the art, science, and respect for good chocolate. Not surprising, the art of pairing chocolates with booze – wine, port, and beer (yes, BEER!) is something I immediately gravitate to.

The past weekend, I teamed up with Richmond’s Yelp group and James River Cellars to host a private party where we navigated taste buds and schooled guests on the chemistry and tips of how to respectfully pair vino with chocolate confections.

With the help of our knowledgeable chocolatier and my own research, I was able to execute a little lesson of how to marry the two together and I’m here to tell you how to do it.

You can do this on your own. I promise. Just stick to these guidelines, test it for yourself and host a party (might I recommend ditching that ridiculous tacky sweater party?). This is way better.

1. Taste light to dark.

Don’t overwhelm those taste buds by starting with bitter and robust – you won’t be able to notice the subtle flavors and aromas of the delicate lighter pairings. Work your way through the white wines to the red, same goes for the chocolates.

2. Pair like with like.

Sweeter chocolates (white, milk and fruit varieties) go well with light whites and sweeter reds. On the flip side, bittersweet and bold chocolates work in perfect harmony with tannic, robust reds.

 

3. Wine sweeter than chocolate.

Contradictory to what you might think, you’ll want the wine to alter the flavor of the chocolate, not vice versa.

 

You don’t want to be around (or be) that “I-need-to-be-first” ass in the group that blurts out their sensations or opinion. Logistic-wise, bite into the chocolate, notice the flavors. Swirl the wine, sniff and notice the aroma, take a sip of wine while the chocolate is still in your mouth. Notice how the chocolate changes. Discuss the change or any other thoughts on the pair together. Some questions you might want to ask your guests:

How does the wine change the chocolate?

What did it taste like before? What did it taste like after?

Did you notice any flavors in the chocolate or wine when the two combined?

I’m really big on resources … as in cheat sheets. This post wouldn’t be complete without them, so here you go:

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Food Porn

FALL FESTIVITIES

By on August 17, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 6.30.17 PM

With this seasonal shift comes many events – from food festivals to the big UCI Bike Race.

Here’s a list of everything not to miss (another great list here). As more events pop up, I’ll add it to this list (feel free to email me at grublikeagirl@live.com with suggestions, too) …

9/11 – 9/13 Armenian Food Festival at St. James Armenian Church

9/13 Shockoe-On-The-Half Shell at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, 12 pm – 5 pm

9/19 Know Good Beer & Music Festival on Brown’s Island, 1 pm – 8 pm

9/27 Main Street Station Outdoor Market 2015 at the Amtrak Main Street Station

10/3 RVA MakerFest at the Science Museum of Virginia

10/4 Hogtober at Libby Hill Park 12 pm – 7 pm

10/6 Richmond Folk Feast Historic Upper Tredegar, 6 pm – 8:30 pm

10/9 – 10/11 Folk Festival

10/16 – 10/17 Oktoberfest at the Richmond Raceway Complex, 6 pm – 12 am

10/18 Kickin’ Chicken WingFest at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, 12 pm – 5 pm

10/28 – 11/1 Fire, Flour & Fork various events/locations

11/1 Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, 12 pm – 5 pm

11/7 Brunswick Stew Festival at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, 12 pm – 5 pm

11/8 Autumn Bottom Brews at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, 12 pm – 5 pm

11/14 Richmond Cider Celebration at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, 12 pm – 5 pm

In addition to these RVA events, try voyaging out and catching these other food-centered happenings around this beautiful state …

9/19 Lexington Rockbridge Pie Festival at Brewbaker Field, noon t0 dark

10/10 – 10/11 – Amherst Wine & Garlic Festival at Rebec Vineyards

10/26 Norfolk – Ribtoberfest, Town Point Park, noon – 10 pm (thanks for this addition, Erik!)

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