Sunday, September 11, 2011
Who doesn't love chocolate? I know I do and I probably don't enjoy it enough. I also never knew which kinds of chocolate to pair with wine or that you could and should pair it with wine. Well, the folks at Brix Chocolate provided some samples of their chocolate to me and on one of the cooler evenings recently, I decided to put their chocolate to the test!
I know you are all wondering what the difference is between their chocolate and any other chocolate out there. What makes it so special? There is an interesting story behind this. Brix Chocolate was developed by Dr. Nick Proia, an Ohio physician who met with friends to taste wine on a weekly basis but felt their practice of eating high fat cheeses with the wine defeated the purpose of drinking the wines for health purposes. There are many health benefits to eating chocolate. Chocolate is good for you, most of us already know this. It is full of antioxidants, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. When paired with red wines, it gives you a double dose of benefit--good for your heart, good for your mind! After much experimentation, Dr. Proia chose chocolate from Ghana, in its purest form, for its fruity notes and thus Brix Chocolate was born.
I will admit, I was a bit skeptical but I tried to use the same skills that have made me a great wine taster and apply them to the chocolate--with amazing results. It was a tasting I truly enjoyed.
Brix Chocolate is sold in several ways: It comes in block form or in individual packets called "Brix Bites" of which I received samples. They make four kinds. I was able to sample three of the four.
The first was the Brix Milk Chocolate. I'm a sucker for milk chocolate. It's my favorite and I never ever thought about pairing it with wine. But, it does go with wine, very well in fact. I sampled this one with a Rose', as mentioned on the label. The creaminess of the chocolate paired so nicely with the strawberry and pomegranate flavors of the wine. It was like the chocolate softened the wine and made it taste richer! Other varietals it pairs well with is Port, Ice Wine and Pinot Noir/Burgundy.
Next was the Brix Dark Chocolate. I paired mine with a Zinfandel (though it can also be paired with Syrah/Shiraz or Merlot). This version contains 60% cacao and is the perfect compliment to a spicy, fruity red wine. Not too bitter but not too sweet. Still rich enough to hold its own but not overpowering so the fruity flavors of the wine stayed intact. Very nice!
Lastly, I decided to sample the Brix Extra Dark Chocolate on the evening of #CabernetDay with three different Cabernet Sauvignons. With 70% cacao, this is great chocolate to pair with a layered, but sturdy Cabernet! Also pairs nicely with Bordeaux blends and Barolos. I must admit this was my favorite pairing of the three. I would venture to guess this chocolate would even pair well with the spicy, fruity Zinfandel I had tried earlier.
I highly encourage everyone to try these different chocolates and pairings. Not only are they delicious but they're a very healthy way to enjoy some decadence with your wines. For more information on Brix Chocolate and how you can purchase it, please visit their website, brixchocolate.com. You can also follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrixChocolate.
I'd like to thank Brix Chocolate and my friend Ryan Wycoff for enlightening me with this delicious treat! Cheers and here's to your health everyone!
"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.