The Height Of Decadence – Prosecco, Grand Rosé and Chocolate
Well, Mother Nature has been spoiling us here in the UK, hasn’t she? Beautiful sunshine for weeks on end, better weather than most of our usual holiday destinations! It looks like being extremely spoilt may have gone to our heads at Premier Estates Wine. We’ve been looking at ever more decadent ways of enjoying sparkling wines, such as our multi award winning Italian Prosecco and Grand Rosé, and our latest indulgence has been a detailed study of the pairing of sparkling wine with another of our most favourite things; chocolate.
The whole idea screamed, “Celebration” as here we have the two most closely linked consumables with marking special occasions. In the majority of cases when we want to congratulate someone or just simply cheer someone up, we send sparkling wine or chocolates.
To begin with, we thought it might just be a bit of fun to entertain our readers, but as it turns out, this seemingly simple pairing can actually be quite complicated when you’re looking to get the most out of it. For instance, some chocolates can be quite bitter and the dryness of sparkling wine can enhance the acidity of the wine on the palate which is fine as long as you enjoy that particular aspect of wine.
So, without further ado let’s head on into the wonderful, creamy sweet world of sparkling wine and chocolate.
Supermarket Chocolate Is Nice But Chocolatier Chocolate Is Better
If you’re a chocolate fan, then it’s difficult to find chocolate that you don’t like. All the major chocolate bar manufacturers churn out millions of sweet delights every year and most supermarkets have a dazzling array of chocolate on display. The only problem is that they’re all quite similar; they’re made for the masses. A true chocolate connoisseur will visit a specialist chocolatier.
Chocolatiers are not hard to find either, it’s rare that a decent sized town centre won’t have one and there are a great deal of online chocolate suppliers as well, where you can select the different chocolates that you think would suit your tastes and test out your taste buds with some ingenious flavour combinations. Chocolatiers tend to be truly gifted artists and it’s one of those businesses that will always thrive because people love to indulge and indulging in a high quality chocolate isn’t an expensive indulgence, as long as you’re careful!
Our Decadent Discoveries
We chose a high street chocolatier and purchased a wide variety of different blends of chocolate and chocolate enhanced with flavoured fondants and fillings. Then, we got them together with two fresh, chilled bottles of Premier Estates Prosecco and Grand Rosé and, well, went a bit mad really, but here are a few of our favourite discoveries:
Berry Fruit Chocolates
Here we had an array of strawberry, raspberry and blackcurrant fondant centered chocolates. All members of our testing team agreed that our Grand Rosé was a lovely pairing with these chocolates because, as you might imagine they were all very sweet and tangy. Surprisingly, the majority of testers also agreed that berry fruit chocolates with a dark chocolate coating worked best. As mentioned above, the dryness of the sparkling wine enhances the subtle acidity of the wine, making it a little more zesty on the palate.
Espresso Coffee Chocolates
We had some particularly strongly flavoured coffee chocolates which were espresso infused dark, white and milk chocolates. The testers were divided here; half of them preferred the Italian Prosecco with these chocolates as the strong bitter coffee flavours worked well with the subtle floral, sweetness of the Prosecco. The other half liked the balance of sweetness and bitterness provided by the Grand Rosé which is less dry and a little sweeter than the Prosecco.
Chocolates Enhanced With Chilli Oil
We had two varieties of chocolate to choose from. Both were solid dark chocolate but one had a subtle infusion of chilli and the other a much stronger chilli component. All testers enjoyed the chocolates equally and all agreed that the Prosecco seemed to work best in this case particularly with the more fiery chilli component as the sweetness of the dark chocolate also seemed to have been enhanced to make the flavours work better together.
Chocolate Truffles Coated With Cocoa Powder
Soft chocolate truffles are often coated with bitter cocoa powder to provide a contrasting taste experience when consumed. The bitter cocoa powder gives way to the sweet centre of the chocolate and our testers all agreed that the sweetness of the Grand Rosé won through here, perfectly complimenting these wonderfully smooth truffles.
White Chocolate – Virgin, And Also Infused With Citrus Flavours
The team discovered something very interesting about white chocolate whilst conducting this particular test. White chocolate is amazing for clearing the palate and enabling a wine drinker to experience all the taste nuances of a wine. This worked equally well with the Prosecco and the Grand Rosé allowing our testers to really enjoy the citrus, pear and apple fruit characteristics of the Prosecco and the ripe summer fruit and floral qualities of the Grand Rosé.
The white chocolate infused with citrus flavours tended to enhance those characteristics of the Prosecco and worked nicely with the Grand Rosé but not in the same way. The testers couldn’t really agree which was best in this case and so they all agreed that it would definitely be down to the individual taster.
So there we have it! The team really enjoyed the experience of pairing sparkling wines and chocolate and we would certainly recommend it to all of our customers. Go ahead and indulge, you’re worth it!