Bronze MedalSan Francisco 2012 Int'l Wine CompetitionJune 25, 2012
Pick of the Week: Chocolate ShopThe Seattle TimesPaul GreguttFebruary 12, 2012This wine's yummy, come hither aromas are virtually irresistible. The lush chocolate flavor, wrapped in pretty red fruits and highlighted with a hint of herb and earth, leads you through a long, silky finish. It makes any day a happy Valentine's Day. (Distributed by Odom-Southern) WITH VALENTINE'S Day just ahead, wine writers inevitably crank out the what wine to drink with chocolat" column. Over the years I've launched a few broadsides at the flawed notion that cabernets or other dry red wines pair well with chocolate. I've suggested that sweet reds, especially tawny ports, can do the trick, though neither side (port nor chocolate) benefits from the presence of the other. Sweet sherry can work, and even a good Champagne. Last year I brought up the idea that amaro - a type of Italian digestif - was actually the best match I'd yet found, and it was. Until now. Here is the ultimate answer to the question of what wine to drink with chocolate: Chocolate wine! I first had chocolate wine about 20 years ago, during a visit to Shallon Winery in Astoria. There, winemaker Paul van der Veldt was making (and continues to make; see his website atwww.shallon.com/chocwine.htm) such novelty wines as Lemon Meringue Pie, Cran du Lait and Chocolate-Orange. Who could have imagined that in 2011 chocolate wines would become one of the hottest wine trends of the new century? I confess that I quickly buttonholed the notion of chocolate wine as a novelty item. The very term seems somehow gimmicky. But suddenly, chocolate-wine lovers (and they are legion) have more than a dozen to choose from. I tasted through a wide assortment of locally available chocolate wines, most of them produced by Precept Wine company, and came away convinced that this is not only a legitimate new category, it is a game-changer. There are two basic styles of chocolate wines: those that are, in fact, wine-based and those that are cream-based. The cream-based wines are not actually wines at all, though they may have a splash of wine in them. They occupy a strange niche that only the TTB (the federal agency that regulates alcohol) could devise, which includes all nonstandard wine products. The best known of these cream-based products is ChocoVine, which tastes just like chocolate milk with a splash of brandy. It sells for about $12 and comes in four flavors: Original, Whipped Cream, Espresso and Raspberry, all with the same richly decadent flavor as more potent liqueurs such as Bailey's Irish Cream. Far more interesting are the chocolate wines that are truly made from wine, with chocolate extract and sometimes fruit flavors added. Precept offers a half dozen examples, most priced between $12 and $15; each unique and all well-made. Most have alcohol around 12.5 percent. Red Decadence carries a hint of chocolate in the nose, and blends light red berry wine flavors with a smooth, lively palate that artfully mixes hints of earth and herb with the dark-chocolate extract. Chocolate Shop sports the prettiest label, and is my Pick of the Week. The Chocolate Cellar includes some caramel flavoring along with the chocolate, and has a silky coffee and toffee character, very appealing. Confectioner's Chocolate ramps the sugar up to 10 percent, and is the least expensive wine in the lineup (around $10). The plain label hides a most interesting wine with spiced cherry fruit and a finishing lick of cinnamon. Red Decadence Raspberry and Chocolate Shop Strawberry are intensely fruity, with the taste of really yummy truffles. These are excellent dessert wines, for sure. Serve them with the darkest chocolate, at least 70 percent cacao, the higher the better. They lend themselves easily to a variety of cocktails, cooking (think molÃ©), or simply mixed with sparkling water and a twist of lime. The revised second edition of Paul Gregutt's "Washington Wines & Wineries" is now in print. His blog is www.paulgregutt.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. # # # BRONZE Medal San Francisco Chronicle Wine CompetitionJanuary 6, 2012A first for Chocolate Shop, the bronze medal for its red wine in the "other dessert red" category is a milestone in validating this hot new category of wine.
The 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition has set a new American wine competition record with an astounding 5,500 entries, surpassing its previous record of 5,050 last year. For nine consecutive years, this prestigious competition holds strong as the "Largest Competition of American Wines in the World."
"This new record serves as an affirmation that every year wine consumers look toward the SFCWC award medal winning wines as a barometer when purchasing their wines," said Bob Fraser, SFCWC Executive Director. "We are thrilled that wineries all over the United States understand and respect the outstanding caliber of our 65 judges from throughout the wine industry and the country."
Results were announced online at www.sfgate.com and www.winejudging.com on Friday afternoon, January 6, 2012. A public tasting of these award winning wines will be at the Festival Pavilion, Fort Mason Center in San Francisco from 2-5 pm on February 18, 2012.
This is Chocolate Shop's Four Festive Reds for the SeasonDetroit NewsSandra SilfvenDecember 8, 2011
With celebrations and parties in the holiday forecast, perhaps you need more wines in your pantry - or a special gift to put in somebody's stocking. Make it red to match the festivities. The chill in the night air, glittering snowflakes and pace of the season call for something yummy and relaxing. Here are some ideas.
Chocolate Shop "The Chocolate Lover's Wine," $11-$13: Chocolate-flavored wines are the "it" drink this fall. And the one that seems to be wowing people is the Chocolate Shop's version. Why? Because it's not creamy, like some, and has a true smack of red wine grapes with a touch of dark chocolate. It's sweet and would pair well with berried or dark-chocolate desserts, but a sweet glazed ham would be a candidate, too. Alcohol is 12.5 percent. John Lossia at Merchant's Fine Wine in Dearborn says it's for true wine drinkers - it's not a novelty. It's made from Washington state grapes - a traditional blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. You can find it at many stores in the area including Merchant's Fine Wine; Discount Drinks, Wyandotte; Holiday Market, Royal Oak; Meadows Fine Wine and Liquor, Farmington Hills. The distributor is Imperial Beverage....
Recommended - Our Favorite chocolate red wineWine SpectatorOwen DuganNovember 30, 2011Wine Spectator delved into a blind tasting of the new chocolate-flavored wines, an undeniable trend in wine. Chocolate Shop was named the favorite in the red wine category. "In the glass Chocolate Shop shows as a muddy red, with cherry edges. The nose carries the cherry motif, with a little kirsch. The first time you taste it you will smile a little as the surprise of chocolate unfurls. There is a little on the nose, but on the palate you get Hershey's syrup flavors plain as day, along with a fruit-driven red." -Owen Dugan, November 2011 NBC Today Show Reccommends Chocolate Shop for Mother's Day!NBC Today ShowLeslie SbroccoMay 4, 2011
What's mom's day without a little decadence? This [red wine] is not overly sweet, but has an infusion of dark chocolate. When paired with chocolate it's pure heaven. Served alongside Poco Dolce Olive Oil and Sea Salt Chocolate, it's an extra healthy hit for your heart (red wine, olive oil and dark chocolate, right?) - Leslie Sbrocoo, NBC's Today Show
Silver Medal - Graphic Design2011 BTI Packaging AwardsFebruary 2, 2011
Inviting aromas of black cherry and dark chocolate entwine and continue on the palate surrounded by hints of cocoa powder. Nuances of red wine and residual sugar linger on the smooth finish.
- Vintage: NV
- Variety: Chocolate Red Wine
- Blend: Premium vinifera red wines with natural dark chocolate
- ALC: 12.5%
- RS: 7.0%