Today we are all about Valentines, celebrate with a cool wine pairing technique.
Wine and Chocolate…It’s all About Sugar Baby!
There is no science (well, maybe a little) to wine pairing and the fun is in the experimentation. Think of wine as the fruit sauce drizzled across chocolate cake: it adds the contrasting flavor to make the chocolate pop.
Tip 1: The lighter the chocolate, the lighter the wine. White wines are ideal for White chocolate (Lisa’s personal favorite) and some milk chocolates. Otherwise the taste of the wine will be sour and the finish will be unpleasant.
Tip 2: The Darker the chocolate the darker the wine. Full Bodied Wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Syrah are best matched with strong intense and heavy chocolate desserts.
Specific Pairings from light to dark:
White chocolate tends to be more mellow and buttery in flavor. It really coats your mouth making it an ideal candidate for a Sherry, a Moscato d’Asti (Italian sparkling wine), an Orange Muscat (Full bodied sweet wine with citrus buttery essence), or an Oaked Chardonnay.
Medium bodied wines such as a sweet Riesling, Pinot Noir or Merlot will complement milk chocolate, a creamy mild chocolate mousse or chocolate accented cheesecake.
Dark Chocolate (50-70% cocoa) or Bittersweet chocolate (70-100% cocoa) needs a wine that offers a roasted flavor, with a hint of chocolate notes. Cabernet Sauvignon or a Full Bodied Zinfandel, or a Syrah will result in an unparalleled tasting combination.
So, for Valentine’s Day go out and buy a variety of chocolates, a few bottles of wine and see what works. If nothing else you’ll be eating chocolate and drinking wine. Just grab your significant other, light a candle (unscented) and you’ve got a perfect pairing!
When in doubt go for Champagne. It goes with all types of chocolate and your loved one will adore it and you! Some even say sparkling wine is an aphrodisiac so have fun.
Red Hot Tip! How to open a Bottle Champagne with style!
1. Remove foil and metal cage.
2. Hold the cork in one hand and grab the bottom of the bottle with the other hand.
3. Tip the bottle to 45 degrees with the cork pointing up.
4. Rotate the BOTTLE, Keeping the cork still with your hand on it – until the cork pops! It’s that easy and no black eyes or broken windows either!
The legendary Saint Valentine was a Roman bishop around 270 A.D. who empathized with young Roman centurions-to-be who were about to be drafted into military service. When the Roman Empire needed these soldiers to protect their ever-expanding territories, Emperor Claudius the Second decreed that married men made poor soldiers, so he banned engagement and marriage altogether from his Roman Empire. But, the loving and kindhearted Valentine defied the Emperor’s demand and secretly married off many young couples by candlelight in castle wine cellars! This was considered treason, as the legend goes. Valentine was imprisoned and put to death by beheading on February 14, 270 A.D.
All Things Wine:
Lisa and I just returned from the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium which featured over 700 vendors and occupied three floors of the Sacramento convention center. This four day event is the largest in North America and everything imaginable was there: from bottles, to corks, trucks, big shiny stainless steel tanks and even cork screws. Each day at about 3:00 they broke out the wine and we sampled fine wine in etched glasses as we strolled through the exhibits and struck up relationships with vendors. The mood was festive and wine people are always friendly (the wine helps!)
In the beginning…
The transition of the existing photography studio on World Trade Drive into an Urban Winery has begun. An urban winery is just like any other winery, it’s just not in a vineyard. We will literally be gathering tons of grapes from world class wine regions like Napa, Sonoma and Lodi and bringing them right here into the former photography studio for processing into wine.
We will be offering tastings, wine by the glass, bottle and by the barrel. We love learning about wine and will be offering extensive classes on tasting, selecting, blending, pairing, making and enjoying wine. (Let us know on Facebook what classes you would like to see offered) We want to create a relaxing and enjoyable place where people feel welcome and can come to relax.
We are still waiting for the rest of our licenses and hope to be open the beginning of April 2015, so keep on the lookout for our Grand Opening Newsletter. For now enjoy this Valentine’s Day edition!
One Down, One to Go:
We have received our Federal Permit to operate a winery. This permit allows us to make wine, sell to wholesalers, retailers and customers. We are allowed to have a tasting room where you can sample flights of wine, buy wine by the glass and by the bottle (or case or even barrel). Stay tuned to hear information about our winemakers and private label programs.
We are still renegotiating our lease and hope to start the renovation process in the next few weeks. To officially open, we still need our CA ABC state license which hopefully is coming soon. Everything has been submitted and we are waiting for final signature!