Everyone knows that February is the month for chocolates with GALentine's Day on Feb. 13th and Valentine's Day on Feb. 14. Have you ever thought about a wine and chocolate pairing tasting party to celebrate? Red wines is the most popular pairing with chocolate and is the best rule of thumb but there is SO MUCH MORE you can so to design a more unique pairing
Any time of year is always right for hosting a chocolate and wine pairing party (although, a relaxed adult Halloween party or a fun date idea for Valentine's Day is also worth thinking about). Invite your guests to bring their favorite chocolate treats from local places in Roanoke like Baylee's Best Chocolates known for using Belgian chocolate. They make their own truffles, caramels, toffee--even their own marshmallow! Or if you want to venture out a little further, try Cocoa Mia in Floyd VA. They specialize in authentic, small-batch chocolate making. But more than that – they are a chocolate experience and offer more than just chocolates during your visit.
During the wine and chocolate pairing activity your guests will enjoy unique wine and chocolate pairings. And don't forget the printable tasting note card score sheet. The party should be casual and relaxed — serving chocolate on an assortment of wood platters, incorporating rustic textures and dimmed lights. Add a few chocolate colored candles a vase of roses and you’re all set.
As the host, you’ll want to provide each guest with a set of wine glasses, one for red wine and one for white wine. A stack of appetizer plates, serving boards, napkins and cheese knives (to cut the chocolate bars) is all you really need to ready your event the tasting. No worries for the host because after all, guests are getting to enjoy decadent chocolate with sips of fine wine. What’s better than that?
So, now that you are all set up, where do you start? Work your way from the lowest percentage of cocoa or cacao on the label (white chocolate), and finish with the darkest. Refer to our wine & chocolate pairing guide below to help get you started with AmRhein's Wine Cellars Estate wines.
Each guest need to go slow and take their time and to use their note cards to take notes. After everyone has had a chance to taste through each of the wines with each of the chocolates, discuss (over some more chocolate and wine, of course) everyone's favorites and which pairings worked better and why. It's always interesting to hear people's thoughts on what tasted better and why.
You're likely to have quite a bit of leftover chocolate so sending your guests home with the extra chocolates is a great idea!. Provide burlap goodie bags that guests can fill with their favorite squares or truffles and even some of the chocolate treats that other guests brought. The score sheets are great to take home too so they can refer back to it later.
If all this just sounds like a great idea but too much effort, AmRhein's Wine Cellars is hosting a pairing event on Sunday, February 10th from 2 pm to 4 pm. You can order tickets to their For the LOVE of Chocolate & Wine event online. Bring your sweetheart or your girl tribe and spend a few hours with learning about chocolate from Cocoa Mia and sampling locally farmed and designed estate wines from the Blue Ridge Mountains .