Men, we can watch numerous commercials, view bill-boards, read the print ads and yet, February 14th will catch us unaware, scrambling to purchase cards, flowers and gifts on the way home from work. Restaurant reservations? Who are we kidding, they were booked months ago. Dinner? Oops, order take-out from that cute Italian place you went to last summer. Plans for the evening? Oh no, you’re in TROUBLE.
Help is at hand my friends. You can create your own tasting experience at home with an appropriately themed subject: alcoholic libations and chocolate. You can choose from wine, beer or spirits or any combination thereof. I write this to aid my fellow man and prove once again, the staff at Beltramo’s will go the extra mile to help our customers.
The pairing of wine and chocolate is a contentious subject amongst those in the wine profession. I hold firmly to the ideal that most wine does not pair with cocoa, but I offer you solutions to that conundrum.
We shall have 3 courses tonight. To begin the night’s festivities we shall start with sparkling wines move through to some English beers and finish with two fortified wines. If time and your constitution permit try all of my recommendations; this will greatly enhance your evening.
I recommend serving milk chocolate with these.
2010 Saracco Moscato D’Asti $13.99
The nose reveals pit fruits, vibrant apricots and peaches. The wine is sweet yet balanced and exhibits a fine bubble structure and a silky finish.
This is a frizzante wine. A delicious foamy mousse begins and is followed by dark, dark raspberries. Rich and sumptuous, a mouth full of sweet berries. A rich finish.
A dark chocolate will work here: one that is around 65% cocoa.
Young’s Double Chocolate Stout ($3.79 available in-store)
A very dark beer, sweet but not too sweet, with a creamy, milk chocolate flavor and hints of coffee on the finish, nicely balanced.
Samuel Smiths Taddy Porter ($3.49 available in-store)
Intense flavors of roasted barley, dry and tangy with a slight smoky quality, followed with delicious notes of coffee and caramel.
A dark, bittersweet chocolate for this course.
2009 M. Chapoutier Banyuls $21.99
From the South of France, abutting the Spanish border comes the world famous Banyuls. The wine is rich and full-bodied yet delicate and with great acidic balance. Black plums and Bing cherries on the nose with orange rind and raisons on the mid-palate followed with espresso on the finish.
Meyer Family Port NV $29.99
Baked plums and cooking spices, mace, cinnamon and allspice on the front. A mid-palate of lush cherries and cassis and a long, lingering finish.
James DB, Beltramo’s Wine Consultant