Charlie's Bird

living the dream with Charlie and Thandi and chirping all the way back to the nest.

Chocolate and Wine

…pairing is quite difficult to do! Traditionally chocolate is seldom paired with wine. The combination of sweet and oily versus acid and tannin often does not work well, but we were pleasantly surprised by the combinations we found. I (actually Charlie) did some online research and found a Leopard’s Leap chocolate pairing, which we considered and modified according to the chocolate we could source. And this is how it went…

LL Unwooded Chardonnay – Lindt white chocolate with a hint of vanilla  This combination got a thumbs up of approval. The chardonnay was light with summer fruits – pears particularly, and the team found that the chocolate softened the wine, accentuating the fruit.

LL Sauvignon Blanc – Lindt Intense A touch of Sea Salt This wine was well received with fresh salady flavours, but the comment was the chocolate made it taste salty…

LL Pinotage Rose – Lindt Extra Creamy milk chocolate This combination was also well received with many surprised at the deliciousness of the wine, and how the chocolate complimented it, making it all rather divine. It tasted creamy and smooth.

LL Lookout Cabernet Sauvignon-Shiraz-Cinsault –  Lindt Intense Orange Now this was one I was concerned about. Invariably orange and chocolate is often a disliked combination, but again we were pleasantly surprised. The wine was nice, and the nuts and the orange in the chocolate brought out the wood with citrus notes. Lots of oohs and aahs.

LL Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot – Lindt Mint Intense Dark – again an interesting combination. We didn’t think much of the wine, finding it a bit bland and boring. The chocolate didn’t do much for it, the mint being overpowering and dominant. However, we all agreed the chocolate itself was delicious!

LL Cabernet Sauvignon – Lindt Caramel Intense Now this was my personal favourite! Yummy wine, delicious chocolate that worked together so very well! The wine had strong wood and tannins, which the caramel softened and sweetened, bringing out the berries. A really good combination, my personal favourite.

LL Shiraz – Lindt Chilli Dark Can I just say for the record that I am over this whole chilli chocolate combination. Most of them are poorly mixed and are just gross. Saying that, with trepidation I tried this blend, the wine was tasty and the chilli accentuated the delicate spiciness of the Shiraz. so, considering my bias, I was surprised.

LL Family Collection Shiraz-Mourvèdre-Viognier – Lindt 85% Dark This wine was well received, with most people enjoying what is clearly the top of their range (it was the only bottle with a cork!) The chocolate is however dark and bitter and many people did not enjoy the combination. I found it reasonable, the chocolate taking a while to melt in my mouth, and bringing out the wood and tannins, leaving my mouth quite dry. The other recommendation here was the Lindt Intense Touch of Sea Salt which we then all tried to. I found it a pleasant enough combination, with the lighter chocolate enhancing the wine far more subtlely than the 85%.

It really was a great experience that we all seemed to enjoy. We were all initially a bit skeptical, but landed up being surprised and really enjoying it. Some tips on tasting, first taste the wine and get an idea of the flavours. Then take a bite of chocolate, let it start to melt and soften in your mouth, then sip another mouthful of wine and see how the flavours mingle, change and grow. Enjoy!


  MJ wrote @

That table looks very neat… where is the after picture?

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