Artisan Chocolates and Organic Wine tasting with The Perfect Cellar
I am very excited to tell you about some fantastic chocolate that we have paired with our wines and are now incorporating into our tastings...
Working with The Chocolatier is a privilege and having created chocolate for Arabian princes, The Maharaja and Michelin starred restaurants we knew we were in good hands. The wonderful Aneesh and Nina are so inspiring and knowledgeable we all feel we have learned a great deal about chocolate!
The range we use is so varied with all of the chocolates categorised by country, all ethically sourced, organically produced with an array of cocoa content;
Bolivia 66%, Congo 70%, Peru 75%, Venezuelan 72%, Ecuador 76%, Santa Dominique 70%, Tanzania 75%, Mexican 66%
It was utterly fascinating to compare chocolates in this way, seeing the big and yet sometimes subtle differences in chocolate from certain regions. With similar principles to a vine, the cocoa plant relies heavily on its environment resulting in a range of differences between regions and varieties. With the warmer regions showing signs of richer, fruitier and mellower tones and whilst cooler areas showed fresher acidity, lighter and more savoury notes.
Top tip - In the north of South America the chocolate tends to be earthier with a much higher level of acidity than in the south.
We enjoyed an amazing selection of our Mas Amiel range that worked beautifully and really complimented the different characteristics in all of the chocolates. The match that I will not forget in a hurry was the Congo 70% chocolate and our Mas Amiel 15 year old. The Congo with its beautiful flavours of Morello cherry, tobacco and balanced by a bitter sweet, fresh and almost palate cleansing finish. The Mas Amiel with a wonderful dark and rich complexity with savoury characteristic and a mellow finish. A match made in heaven!
Our varied sweet range offered a wonderful balance to the diverse selection of chocolates - you will have to come and sample this to truly understand how...(Register here to attend our free Artisan and Chocolate Tasting event.)
From the fruity and slightly sweet chocolates from Bolivia to the woody and slightly tannic chocolates of Mexico, each one had something unique to offer and each one paired beautifully with a different wine. Out of pure curiosity we also purposefully tried a bad match and it really was dreadful but put into perspective just how good, a really good match was. Pairing a strong, high percentage cocoa content means the chocolate may have a slight bitter character. Matching the smoky and floral Santa Dominique, for me, did not work with the acidity and complexity of the Mas Amiel 15 year old.
Not only are these chocolates fantastic on their own, with our wines but they are also low fat, low sugar = low calories! The chocolates are suitable for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, eggs free, alcohol free, Halal, Kosher, so no nasty’s just all of the good stuff! They are also said to increase the level of endorphins and so make you happy.
All in all, pretty fantastic and taste amazing!
Guest blog by:
Lydia Redfearn - The Perfect Cellar