4 Dessert Wines for Chocolate Day 10/28!

Chocolate is a food of the Gods. So thought the Maya about chocolate and I bet you may agree.

You may not, however, know how time consuming the production of chocolate is: it takes 400 or so cocoa beans to make a single pound of chocolate. Those cocoa beans go through an intense process to go from raw bean to roasted and fermented to ground cocoa to a bar with sweeteners that you want to consume; this process  takes  from two to four days to make one bar of chocolate.

Wine also is a food of the Gods and very time consuming, especially if you want a wine to go with CHOCOLATE like a port or port style dessert wine.

For a BIG birthday, I splurged and bought myself some special Ports which you can read about in Ports: Vertical Heaven. In that post I also explain that Port refers to a wine based fortified beverage from Portugal. Back in the day, the British added brandy to wine so it would last longer. According to Graham Port’s blog, the Instituto do Vinho do Douro e Porto (IVDP), the regulating body for the Douro region, provides these guidelines for identifying a true Port wine:

  • Only fortified wine produced in the Douro Demarcated Region which conforms to the technical characteristics defined by the IVDP is Port
  • The maker must be registered and authorised by the IVDP to produce Port
  • The label must be approved by the IVDP
  • The bottle must bear the IVDP issued and numbered seal of guarantee

For Chocolate Day, I splurged and bought some chocolates and opened one bottle of Port and three dessert wines, and we tasted them together. While not all dessert wines are fortified with port, the ones I tasted are.

Oh yeah baby.

The chocolates: Marich chocolate strawberries, blueberries, and salted cashews; Divine dark chocolate with hazelnuts and cranberries. We also combined the chocolates with Lancaster caramels.

The dessert wines: Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto, Kachina Port Sonoma County CA, Cantara X Lodi CA, Silver Fifty Cask Santa Barbara County. Continue reading

Happy #ChampagneDay! A Toast with Champagne Jacquart Brut Mosaique!

CRzURnIUwAAWzvq

Tomorrow is the sixth annual #ChampagneDay! The 2015 #ChampagneDay is set for Friday, October 23.

What makes Champagne Champagne and not just another bottle of bubbles you wonder?

champagne-day-savethedate2014_01

  1. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, which, on July 5th 2015 was granted World Heritage status by UNESCO.
  2. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France, making it the only sparkling wine that can be called Champagne.
  3. Champagne is from Champagne, France.

But beyond the fact that CHAMPAGNE only comes from the Champagne region of France and all other bubbles are just sparkling wine and NOT Champagne? This video offers a few clues: Continue reading

Oxnard Steampunk Fest: Anchor Steam, Wine Tasting, Techno Tea + More

12068664_1149182001761851_3574341830017469543_o

Another weekend, another Festival, yes? Everyone is trying to cram in as many fun activities outside while the weather is still nice and warm (and maybe too warm lately!) before the rainy and snowy weather sets in.

This weekend I want to suggest something extra-ordinary: Continue reading

BAM: Beer Art Music Fest in Santa Monica 10/10/15

More of a beer person than a wine person? Or not enough time to leave LA for Santa Ynez for this weekend’s Celebration of Harvest?  Maybe BAM in Santa Monica is more your style.

Because truly even Wine Predators can not live on wine alone! Continue reading

Celebrate Santa Barbara Wine Harvest This Weekend

COH15 - Logo

Miss out on the recent Sunset Savor the Central Coast during the last weekend of California Wine Month? Then definitely don’t miss this weekend’s Santa Barbara Vintners Celebration of Harvest!

Before I get to posting about Sunset Savor (including notes from two sessions I attended “Three Styles of Sparkling Wine” and “Central Coast Wine and Cheese Pairing”),  I want to make sure that you know about this weekend’s  Celebration of Harvest Weekend October 9-12, 2015.

During the weekend you can: Continue reading

California Wine Month and Sunset Savor

STCC-banner-300x600

 

What better way to celebrate the final weekend of California Wine Month than to attend Sunset Savor in the heart of California’s central coast wine region to taste local food and wine?

Today I am driving up to Santa Margarita to attend  The Main Event where I will experience an “epicurean and adventure playground”! Sounds perfect for a Wine Predator like me Continue reading

Ventura County Ag Summit Includes Water Solutions, Area Wineries

15c8b462-e427-4e62-8e49-92b2f9ade5e8
Cal State University Channel Islands will be home to a two day Ventura County Agricultural Summit featuring panels, speakers, and food on Friday Sept. 11 from 8:30am-6:30pm and food and wine tasting on Saturday Sept. 12 from noon to 4:30pm. Continue reading