Friday, 15 April 2011

Chocolate Wine

I was reading about the trend over in the USA towards sweet wines, Moscato in particular, and came across an unusual combination: Chocolate Wine. It certainly sounds better than the Asparagus Wine that I wrote about recently. Apparently Chocolate Wine comes in two types – either Port style wines infused with Dark Chocolate or wine mixed with cream and chocolate.

I remember that Marks & Spencer sold a sweet red wine last year here in the UK called Chocolate Ruby that was infused with chocolate for Christmas. According to the Daily Mail they had sold a Chocolate Port in 2008 that flew off the shelves so I suppose this is the next generation of all things chocolatey.

There a a few producers of Chocolate wine state side who sell Chocolate Wine as dessert wines: Opici Wines make Cocoa di Vine which is a blend of cream and a blend of white wine grapes Torrontes, Moscato and Pedro Ximenez (a sherry grape). It has the flavour of milk chocolate with undertones of vanilla and caramel.

Rosenblum Cellars make Désirée which is a blend of chocolate and three red grapes Zinfandel, Syrah and Touriga Nacional. The grapes are sourced from warmer valleys and coastal mountains areas in California, where grapes can reach intense, ultra-ripe aromas and flavours. Touriga Nacional, which originally heralds from the searingly hot climate of Portugal, thrives in these warmer temperatures, producing rich, aromatic dark plum and chocolate character. When pushed to ripeness, the Syrah and Zinfandel likewise add a balance of red and black fruits with alluring cocoa nuances. The wine is fortified with grape brandy and the chocolate is sourced from a chocolate maker in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Désirée is made in a Tawny Port style and has aromas of chocolate, vanilla, coconut and rich fruit.

Black Mesa Winery in New Mexico make the multi award winning Black Beauty, made from Zinfandel and Cabernet franc grapes infused with a little chocolate. The wine is a sweet red wine with flavours of chocolate and black cherries.

Interestingly the Aztecs in Mexico used to drink Xocolatl made from Cacao. It was a bitter, spicy drink and was often flavoured with vanilla, chilli and annatto. It was believed that it could fight fatigue and that it was an aphrodisiac. Hernando Cortez was the first European to note chocolate when he visited the court of Emperor Montezuma of Mexico in 1519. However it seems that Chocolate as an alcoholic beverage is a modern phenomenon . . ?

13 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

I had to laugh. My dearly beloved came home a few weeks ago and said they had tried to get him to try chocolate wine... he was horrified and I thought YUK.

Never occurred to me it could be good... once you put port or sweet sherry into the mix it doesn't sound ghastly at all. I actually make a chocolate sauce with port and it's delicious.

Thanks for the attitude adjustment... now it doesn't sound half bad.

Pam said...

I've never heard of this but it does sound intriguing. All of the wines you mention sound very good and Cortez definitely knew what was good and just maybe chocolate and alcohol did mix back then.

Susan said...

Many years ago, we had friends over for dinner and they brought with them a bottle Deco Chocolate Port. It was a surprise for the 90's, but as an after dinner drink, it was delightful. I had almost forgotten about it.

Sue said...

Deanna - I'd never thought of adding port to chocolate sauce . . . nice idea!

Pam - I agree and if I come across any old records of chocolate and alcohol I'll let you know :-)

Thanks Susan - I will have a hunt re Chocolate Port, it's something I haven't come across. I have a sweet tooth re drinks but Nick doesn't so he is curling his toes up at the thought! :-)

Coleman said...

You'll have to try Vino de Mocca, then, from Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy, CA. I discovered them over 10 years ago and have been sharing and enjoying this delightful dessert wine ever since. It's known as "the kissing wine" because after a glass or two, you'll want to kiss someone. Truly amazing with the chocolate and coffee notes.

Sue said...

Thanks for the heads up Elda! I'll look out for it :-)

Jen L. said...

Loving the chocolate wines!! Really has opened me up to wine in general. A really sweet port with notes of chocolate, toffee and black cherries is Pindar's Cabernet Port (North Fork Long Island) AMAZING! I have it every night :)

Also Holland's Chocovine is great - cream and cabernet mixed together. You can even use it to drizzle over dessert.

I wrote all the wines suggested and I can't wait to try them all :)

Sue said...

Thanks Jen! I am going to try one over vanilla ice cream :-)

Anonymous said...

Chocolate wines are certainly gaining momentum as more and more of them are made.

Found a good reference and info on some of the more popular ones at http://chocolatewine.com

Ashleigh and Tiffani said...

Love this! So glad we found you! We will be adding you to our blog roll. My friend and I recently started a blog called The Drinking Girls. We started it after we wrote a cookbook called The Drinking Girls' Guide to Spanish Food. We were military wives living in Spain at the time. Now that we are about to embark on a second Drinking Girls' cookbook, we decided to start our own blog and are looking for some great blogs to share with our readers. I just heard about Chocolate wine from a friend and google led me to you...I still live in Spain and love Spanish reds and love French wine as well. Thanks for the info! Adding your to our blog roll now! Cheers, Ashleigh & Tiffani, The Drinking Girls

Sue said...

Thanks Ashleigh and Tiffani - that's very kind of you! Good luck with your new blog - I have added you to my blog roll :-)

Anonymous said...

Just happened upon your post when I was looking for some pairing ideas for the chocolate wine I just brought home (The Chocolate Shop- Ruby Red Chocolate wine). As far as the idea of chocolate as an alcoholic beverage being a modern phenomenon, the Aztecs actually created an alcoholic beverage during the processing of cacao beans into what we call chocolate. Chocolate was originally exclusively ingested via the drink you mentioned rather than the solid form we are used to. But the alcoholic beverage was a separate type of drink made when they processed the cacao beans. Sorry for the random interlude (and considerably delayed seeing the dates of the previous comments). Really liked your post. I'm excited to try the wine I just bought!

Sue said...

I hope you enjoy it :-)