Though as a rule we prefer the meat course, we still hold a soft spot in our hearts…er, stomachs, for the dessert part of a meal. True, cats aren’t big fans of sweets, since we lack the taste buds for that particular group of flavors. However, desserts aren’t just about sweetness. There’s some lovely savories out there that make for a fine conclusion to the meal.
Like many diners around the world, we are fans of chocolate. Deep, dark chocolate. Drool-inducing, moan-inducing chocolate. We’ve mentioned Brix before, a fabulous collection of chocolate specifically designed to pair well with chocolate. Chocolate, after all, is just as complex in its flavors as wine and matching the two is not as easy as one might imagine. We also love to slurp down the once-a-year delicacy from Bissinger’s of chocolate-covered blackberries. What a wonderful pairing – big, plump, flavorful berries with a shell of slightly sweet chocolate! Enjoy with a deep, plummy red and no matter how bad your day has been, it just became a perfect day.
Berries and wine can be a wonderful match, as you might expect. The two share many of the same types of flavors as well as complimentary tastes and smells. How often have you found yourself describing a wine in terms of its particular type of fruitiness?
Naturally, many dessert wines are often fruit-flavored wines. Yes, we know, this can be a scary thing. Dessert wines have a tendency to end up as some oddball blending of fruit juices and mediocre wine that ends with a beverage that that has the consistency and taste of children’s cold medicine. (Which is never grape-flavored, no matter what the label says.)
But a well-made dessert wine can be the perfect dessert. Whether a blend, or say, a 100% blueberry wine, dessert wines have the potential to be wonderfully juicy and scrumptious. The best dessert wines should have you believing that you’ve just eaten a handful of the most perfect fruit you’ve ever had. Take Alba blueberry wine from New Jersey – all the big, deep flavors of blueberry so smoothly blended that it creates a long, slow flavor that keeps you sipping just so you can try to figure out all the hidden depths to this tummy-loving creation. Just yum!
So we are not afraid to enjoy a wonderful dessert wine. You can imagine how excited we were then when the humans appeared with a bottle called The Chocolate Shop, which purported to be the wine for chocolate lovers. A blending of red wine and chocolate – surely there could be few things finer than that?
We were quick to open the bottle and Fuzzums nearly knocked the entire bottle into the kitchen sink in anticipation. Red wine, chocolate, red wine, chocolate. Here we go – and that first taste was….meh. It wasn’t terrible – it was just…well, exactly what the label promised. A blending of wine and chocolate. It’s a curious sensation, you can taste both the wine and the chocolate, almost separately. To be honest, we were hoping for something that was a smoother blending of the two. Something with layers of flavor that slowly revealed itself with each sip. Something that showed respect for the natural complexities of both the grape and the chocolate.
Well, we won’t dismiss the idea of chocolate wine completely. With a little more attention to the blending, this is surely one idea that could become a fan favorite in no time.