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