Paired with Beato’s Paprika Chocolate, 2 Ports from Portugal: 6 Grapes, Dow’s 2016 LBV #WinePW

Port carving by Weshoyot Alvitre — learn more

Dessert is tricky for wine pairings because the wine needs to be sweeter than the dessert, and what’s the point of a dessert that has no sweetness to it? In general, I’m a solid NO when it comes to pairing dessert with wine– unless that wine is a dessert wine like Madeira or Port from Portugal.

So what wine to pair with dessert, especially dark chocolate? How about these two Port wines from Portugal?

To continue our run this month highlighting Portuguese grapes that you may know but not really KNOW, paired with food, we have two styles of Port paired with a paprika spiced chocolate which shares the name and the art of the Mama of Dada herself, Beatrice Wood: Beato.

Did you know that for Port wine there are six commonly used grapes (Touriga Franca, Tinta Roriz aka Aragonez aka Tempranillo, Tinta Barroca, Touriga Nacional, Tinta Cão and Tinta Amarela), 30 recommended grapes, and 82 permitted grapes? The 82 permitted grapes are even ranked from very good to bad! 

In addition to the six grapes listed above, very good and good grapes for port are:

  • Bastardo
  • Donzelinho tinto
  • Marufo
  • Tinta Francisca
  • Castelão
  • Cornifesto
  • Malvasia Preta
  • Mourisco de Semente
  • Rufete
  • Sezão
  • Tinta Bastardinha
  • Tinta Carvalha
  • Touriga Fémea

I wasn’t looking for dessert or chocolate when I came across these bearing Beatrice Woods nickname. I’ve long known about the Mama of Dada and was invited twice to meet her. I don’t remember why I passed but he first opportunity, but the second time, I had a cold and din’t want to be known as that person who got Beatrice Wood sick…


Partners Lisa Casoni and Heather Stobo created Beato Chocolates to reflect the playful spirit of maverick artist Beatrice “Beato” Wood who moved to Ojai  in the 1940s, and helped establish the scenic valley as an oasis for art and culture.

In downtown Ojai,  the base for Beato Chocolates is Lisa and Heather’s Porch Gallery which showcases renowned artists.  They admire how Beatrice, the “Mama of Dada,” allowed an outspoken lust for life as shown by her lustrously glazed ceramics. A fine artist who showed alongside her friend and colleague Marcel Duchamp, Beatrice helped define Dada, an avant-garde movement known fo

Beatrice Wood attributes her long life to chocolate and young men; Beato Chocolates honor her insatiable appetites and artistic vision. In collaboration with the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts, Beato Chocolates feature the artist’s expressive drawings and pithy witticisms, making each confection an ephemeral, portable work of art.

We will be sharing more of these chocolates soon! Stay tuned!



NV Six Grapes – W& J Graham’s – Douro Valley – Reserve Porto. 

  • ABV 19.5%
  • SRP $27
  • sample for my review

Color: So dense dark and rich, I said ruby, Sue said maroon or plum, it is so dense you cannot see to the bottom of the glass.

Aroma: So much alcohol, but blackberries and plums, baking spices, nutmeg, ginger and cloves, plum pudding, rich and heady

Palate:  Sue described it as “There is a sweetness, but it is not sweet, Earthy richness, cocoa nips and tobacco, gunpowder, mint, plum tobacco, hooka,” I thought it was a. bit like raisins, it is all about the fruit in this wine.  

Pairing: The smoked paprika has such a nice spice that is added to the chocolate. The Marconna almonds have such a nice richness that adds to the chocolate so fantastic with the rich flavorful port. We found this to be a very clean pairing. It is not cloyingly sweet with such nice vitality. The smoked paprika is subtle, but adds earthy qualities with a little bit of kick. 

2016 – Dow’s Late Bottled Vintage Porto

  • ABV – 19.5%
  • SRP – $26
  • Importer  – Premium Port Wines
  • sample for my review

Color: Deep dark and dense blackberry jam with a fushia rim. 

Aroma: Blackberries and sage, for Sue this was a wine that smells like blackberry sage cream sauce that would be poured over a pork tenderloin. (Is there a recipe for that?) I found a walnuts. 

Palate: Very dry yet sweet at the same time, walnut tannins, walnut skin, with super ripe plums. There is also a musky richness 

Pairing: We paired the port with some out of this world chocolate this evening. Wow!


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