Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate and Wine for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day and I have a long-standing love-hate relationship. Not only did I break up with BOTH of my long term boyfriends the week of Valentine's Day (yes, sometimes love can be cruel)- hey what can I say? I have bad timing! But, I LOVE LOVE LOVE (did I mention I love?) all things chocolate, and all things wine, and to combine my two great loves creates sheer bliss in my little world. The possibilities are endless. Besides- who needs a boyfriend when you've got a sick bottle of bubbly and some creamy caramels to dull the pain with?

Ok, so here's some basics you might want to know before venturing into the wonderful world of chocolate and wine pairing to make it the best possible foray.
  • Dark Chocolate- because of the bitterness in dark chocolate, look for a bolder, more tannic red, such as Cabernet, Shiraz, Grenache, Bordeaux, or Malbec (to name a few) TRY: 1975 Wine Co. "The Sum" 2007- $20
  • Milk Chocolate- Milk chocolate has a lower cocoa content, is much sweeter than dark, and goes with sweeter wines, such as Tawny port, Hungarian Tokaji, and Muscat- Check out Warre's Otima 10 Year Tawny Port for $20- super silky, with almond and orange peel notes- delicious!
  • White Chocolate- has NO cocoa liqueur in it, and lots of sugar, so here's where you break out a bottle of Extra Dry or Demi Sec Champagne or sparkling wine and buy some white chocolate covered strawberries and have a romantic night in (by yourself- lol!) FYI- Stew Leonard's Dairy in Norwalk sells some KICK ASS chocolate covered straberries the size of softballs- ridiculous! Buy a bottle of Schramsberg Cremant at $30 or Gruet Demi Sec at $16 and you're good to go.
  • Caramels- We've come to my personal favorite.....Buttery toffee flavors complement the richness of creamy caramels, and nothing brings out the best in these chocolates like great Tawny Port, Sauternes, or for you WHITE WINE fans, a gorgeous bottle of Meursault! Check out Joseph Drouhin for a good producer without breaking the bank that you can find in most local stores- about $45/ btl.

So, ditch the boyfriend, grab a box of chocolate and a chick flick and your best girls, and celebrate V-Day with me like it was meant to be celebrated! With good friends, good wine, and of course, yummy chocolate. Oh- and for the best chocolates around, visit my friend Michelle's store in Westport- Cocoa Michelle's

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