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December 24, 2013

During the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to taste various chocolate flavored wines…and while I have always enjoyed the experience, I never felt it was extra special. With Chocolais, that has changed.

On our 2011 International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Conference at Sea on Holland America, our members were treated to Chocolais as part of a wine tasting event as well as a bottle in their stateroom to devour or take home an enjoy.

After two exceptional tastings of Roche Winery & Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, we cleansed our palate with “Wine Tasting Cookies” to experience the new to the market Chocolais. It was wonderful and we were lucky it was available in time for our taste testing.

We have taken part in chocolate and wine pairings, but not like this. As the producer says, “There’s only one way to improve on the sensual experience of rich dark chocolate with a glass of fine red wine – put them in the same bottle.” That is what has been done when you discover the ingredients. Swiss chocolate, thick Dutch cream, and fine Italian wine. It is 14% ABV so qualifies as wine.

At first, it reminded me of Bailey’s Irish Cream, but the red wine adds a distinctive flavor that cuts the sweetness. I find it perfect, Norm thoroughly enjoys it as well. Chocolais is making its world debut at the 2012 Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) Convention. It takes place April 10-13, 2012. If you are in attendance, come by and see 

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them in Salon B inside the Grand Lakes Hotel in Orlando, FL. In the meantime, you can gain more information about availability and releases on their website and Facebook page or Twitter.

If you choose to serve it with something, I would not recommend a rich dessert, as it would be out of balance. I like it by itself, with a lemon bar, or over some vanilla ice cream. The manufacturer has developed some Chocloais-based recipes, which will later stream through their Facebook page – in the mean time, they have shared two of them with us.

Chocolais Sundae

  • 3 oz Chocolais
  • 2 oz vanilla ice cream
  • 4 oz ice
  • Add all ingredients in a blender and blend.
  • Drizzle chocolate syrup in a red wine glass.
  • Pour ingredients in.
  • Garnish: optional whipped cream and a cherry.

(I took a simple approach: some vanilla ice cream and drizzled a little Chocolais on top—Heaven!)

Chocolais Raspberry Truffle

  • 3 oz Chocolais
  • .25 oz DeKuyper Razzmatazz
  • Add all ingredients in a mixing glass
  • Add fresh ice
  • Shake hard
  • Pour into a trumpet flute
  • Garnish with whipped cream and 3 raspberries.