Related News

Home » Feature » iDEAL

Sips for a sweet tooth

CANDY is dandy, but chocolate wine really seems to get taste buds in an uproar.

"The reaction has been amazing," says Don Opici, whose company, Opici Wines, recently introduced Cocoa di Vine.

Never heard of chocolate wine? Chances are you will. More vintners are amping up the decadence decibels with blends of wine infused with chocolate flavorings.

Sold as dessert wines and particularly popular around choco-centric holidays such as Valentine's Day and Easter, the wines fit into a larger trend that has seen Americans embracing their love for wines that are fruity and sweet, such as moscato, the sweet and zesty white wine that took off last summer.

"It is absolutely fitting into the sweet tooth wine trend," says W.R. Tish, founder of the wine site

Chocolate wines generally fall into two camps. Some are port-style wines that are dark red and have, if done right, a rich, dark chocolate taste. Examples include Rosenblum Cellars' Desiree dessert wine. The other style mixes cream into the wine, creating a sort of adult milk shake.

Cocoa di Vine falls into the latter category, though it's a little different in that it is based on a blend of white wines.

At Rosenblum Cellars, the idea of mixing chocolate and wine goes back about a decade, says winemaker John Kane.

The wine is made with port-style wines, along with chocolate flavorings added with an emulsifying agent.

Desiree always does well at Easter and Valentine's, but during the last couple of years there's been increased interest year-round, with some bartenders using it to make chocolatinis.

"It's definitely a crowd pleaser," says Kane.

In a way, chocolate and wine are natural partners. A lot of wine-lovers say they can pick up notes of chocolate in certain varieties, particularly cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel, says Jerry Burd, winemaker and owner of Black Mesa Winery in Velarde, New Mexico, which sells a chocolate wine called Black Beauty.

Still, some people need a little coaxing to accept the concept.

"We have a lot of people that say, 'I don't even want to taste a chocolate wine.' And then they walk out with chocolate wine in their bag," says Burd. "We work hard to keep it balanced as far as sweetness and wine and chocolate go so it doesn't overcome your palate with any one of those. It's not like eating a Hershey's bar or Tootsie Roll or something like that. It's a nicely flavored, balanced wine."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend