When it comes to food and wine pairing I tend to think of what varietal will best match the main course in a dinner or lunch along with its side dishes. The goal is to arrange the tastes and sensations that are either complimentary (or interestingly contrasting) so that there is a perfect harmony and balance on the plate that becomes the perfect meal.
However, there is an entirely different category of pairing food and wine which is completely hedonistic - wine with desert. The course is not for nourishment or to satisfy hunger but to just enjoy the dish purely for the sake of pleasure of the tastes in and of themselves.
It is not about consuming great quantities (for a little goes a long way) but experiencing small portions of intense flavor that excites the palate. The satisifaction is in the perfection of the flavors (usually sweet) not in how it satisfies one’s appetitte.
Personally, I rarely eat deserts these days but now and then I’ll dabble in what often seems like a little taste from heaven and I can think of no other paring that suits that description more than wine and chocolate.
This coming weekend the Lodi Wine Country will be celebrating a Wine & Chocolate Valentine’s Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and I personally will be serving in the tasting room at Borra Vineyards (http://www.borrawinery.com/).
If you are free for the day, come out and join us at the 12th annual Wine and Chocolate Extravaganza! You can travel from winery to winery throughout the Lodi Appellation tasting world-class wines, savoring delectable chocolates, and listening to a variety of music. The price includes a souvenir wine glass, commemorative chocolate bar, wine tasting, and map to all participating wineries. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Lodi Wine and Visitor Center (209) 365-0621 or on line at: http://www.lodiwineandchocolate.com/
If you own or work for a winery and are looking for quality chocolate to pair with your wine or create wine-filled chocolate treats, then I highly recommend the excellent service of Gorman Confections. Check out their web site at: http://www.gormanconfections.com/
Be sure to tell them you heard about them from Erik Wait at California Wine Tasting Adventures!