Chocolate and wine goes together like log files and a hot cup of cocoa. The flavour profile of wine, to my mind, shares the same schema as chocolate – you can get earthy notes, fruity edges and more generally acidity. When I got these two Chateau Civrac ganache filled chocolate grapes I let out a girly exclamation of excitement. You see, I’ve been lucky enough to try the Appellation Sensations in the past and the experience is still with me.
I just adore red wine, and although I’m anything but a connoisseur as I only buy South African wine if I can help it (I was born there), I am still able to appreciate a good bottle. I know Paul A. Young is obviously better qualified to judge which wines work best with chocolate, but I can give my views as an ordinary ‘punter’.
Firstly they’re visually stunning. For some reason I instantly thought of Christmas when I first saw them – it must have been the inherent Christmas tree shape that a bunch of grapes has when held up-right. Paul might have been very clever and associated the warmth that red wine gives with the Christmas visual appearance and aimed it straight at the stocking fillers market. For my mind, he’s spot on.
How practical they are for stocking fillers is something I’m not sure of as they are a touch delicate? Indeed they may be more suitable for gourmet, edible table decorations for Christmas dinner parties with friends which you’ll be eyeing up throughout the time you’re stuffing yourself with turkey and just keeping a bit of room reserved for these delights.
I can’t speak highly enough of these. The texture of the ganache is sublimely soft, delicate whist the flavour is fruity, punchy, sweet, intoxicating and downright SEXY! And that works very well against the robust Madagascan dark chocolate. I would say that using a shy couverture would have harmed the directness of the experience. These cold, dark nights, with the clocks about to turn back demands a sweet, indulgent treat that warms you up – and that’s exactly what happens with these wine-filled chocolate grapes.
I don’t know the price of them, as there’s no information on the Paul’s website, but I know they’d be worth every penny. If you’re at all in the London area then visit his shops and buy some, and pick up some of his truffles too. Excuse me now; I need some peace and quiet to enjoy the other one!