Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chocolate Tasting Party

I recently hosted a chocolate tasting party. It was a great time and a perfect get together to get rid of the winter blahs.  I based my party and menu from a book called Tasting Club by Dina Cheney.  This book is full of information and a great guide for hosting tasting parties including:  wine, chocolate, cheese, honey, tea, extra virgin olive oil, cured meats, balsamic vinegar, apples, and beer.

Our menu…


Croutes with Blue Cheese, Toasted Walnuts
and Port Wine Reduction
Manchego and Drunken Goat Cheese
with Quince Paste and Sea Salt Crackers
Dates Stuffed with Gorgonzola, Bacon and Chives
Opera Primo Muscato

Chocolate Tasting

Green and Black's Organic White Chocolate
Godiva Milk Chocolate
Green and Black's Organic Milk Chocolate
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Evening Dream
World Classics - Chocolate Obsession
Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Green and Black's Organic Dark Chocolate
Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt
Lindt Excellence Chili


Mini Dark Chocolate Cones w/Creme de Menthe Filling
Chocolate Covered Bacon w/Almonds
Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

And for a finale...
Angelic Hot Chocolate!

A few of my guests brought dessert wines and we sampled them with our chocolates as well. We used baguette slices and clementines to cleanse our palates between tastings. I must say I never thought I would say this but "Wow, that was a lot of chocolate!"

A few random thoughts...

I'm glad we started with non-chocolate appetizers.  The strong flavors were a great prelude to the chocolate.

Nine chocolates were probably a little too much.  Because I didn't want to limit to just milk or just dark I chose the whole spectrum, from white to dark.  Next time I would focus on only milk, only dark, or something like only Swiss chocolate, and
probably limit to 6 chocolates. 

Directions on how to do a proper tasting and a place to record your notes is essential.  It really is amazing the differences you can notice in chocolate if you really pay attention.  For example, many of the chocolates tasted different if you let them melt on your tongue versus chewing them. 

The wrong pairing of wine with chocolate can be really bad.  Some of the wine and chocolate pairings were not so good.  The raspberry wine was OK with most of the chocolates, but definitely better with the dark chocolates.

Chocolate covered either like it or you don't.  It goes along with the whole sweet and salty thing but it IS different.  I don't know if it would be my first choice but I'm glad I tried it.

Overall it was a great can't go wrong with good friends and chocolate!

No comments:

Post a Comment