HomeLifestyleWine and Chocolate Are Perfectly Paired At Baldacci Family Vineyards

Wine and Chocolate Are Perfectly Paired At Baldacci Family Vineyards

Wine and chocolate may be the ultimate pleasure — an ethereal combination that brings out the best in both drink and confection. Chef Holly Peterson is passionate about these pairings. Her company, Flourish Chocolate, has collaborated with Baldacci Family Vineyards in Napa to create a Wine & Chocolate Tasting that is a delight for the senses.

Peterson says the secret lies in the way the chocolate is made. “In these specially made chocolates, I combine our signature reserve cocoa — which has undergone extended fermentation to mellow harsh, bitter flavors and enliven the pure silky richness of the chocolate — with unique flavors that pair exceptionally with the Baldacci Family Vineyards wines.”

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During the 60-minute tasting experience, guests will taste three wines, each paired with three distinct signature chocolates.

My first up was the Baldacci Family Vineyards Los Carneros Chardonnay paired with Flourish’s Kaffir Lime Asian Fan. The citrus and slightly bitter characteristics of the Kaffir lime leaf perfume the chocolate ganache, making it the perfect match for this crisp, fruit-and-spice-filled Chardonnay. When I first tasted the Chardonnay, I didn’t think I could like it anymore than I already did (it was amazing) but the citrus notes of the chocolate made it even more palatable.

Next was the Baldacci Family Vineyards Elizabeth Los Carneros Pinot Noir paired with Chai Bronze Fleur de Lys. Here, floral and exotic flavors of Chai spice mingle with the Pinot Noir in a way that highlights the wine’s unique flavors of pomegranate, plum skin, mocha and oak spice. When I first tasted this Pinot Noir, the spice was front and center and it was only accentuated by the spicy Chai in the chocolate.

Finally, the Baldacci Family Vineyards Fraternity Red Wine Blend was paired with Strawberry Black Pepper Grape. Fruit flavors followed by bold layers melt into a heated finish with this decadent chocolate. The pairing showcases the structure, complexity and bold flavors of this Bordeaux-style red. This was one of my favorite red wines I’ve ever tasted. The chocolate had a more subtle impact here perhaps because I was so blown away by this red blend to begin with!

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If you’re in the Stags Leap District (lucky you!), you can book the Wine & Chocolate Tasting online ($65 per person) at Baldacci Family Vineyards. If you’re not in Napa, you can still experiment with creating your own exquisite pairings. Follow Chef Holly Peterson’s steps for tasting wine and chocolate:

1. Taste the wine. Enjoy it. Notice the flavors, textures, craftsmanship and the finish.

2. Taste the chocolate. Let it melt on your palate slowly; don’t just chew it up. Take your time and notice how the flavors linger on the palate.

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3. Taste the wine again. Notice how the flavors from both interact with each other.

4. You might be smiling at this point, so I highly recommend repeating this list.

Which I most certainly did.

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