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The Essence of Wine: Chocolate


Image © 2012 Leigh Beisch

Montezuma's gift was given first to the heavens, and only then to the rest of mankind, the latin theobroma cacao, literally meaning "fruit of the gods." When Cortez returned to Spain bearing the exotic dark fruit of the Aztecs, the world was never the same again. Synonymous with pleasure, from an infant's first taste to the connoisseur's careful snap, few foods in existence rival the raw passion of chocolate. Its complex chemistry reveals itself not only on the tongue, but in the hidden pathways of our minds, which react to it not just as a food, but as a drug. Chocolate's appearance in wine — nutty dark flavors and aromas rising up through fruit — can take the breath away. Cocoa powder, bitter dark, or milky sweet. Each flavor offers a small miracle of alchemy and a mouthful of delight.

Yarra Yering "Dry Red #1" Red Wine, Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Cadaretta "Springboard" Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley, Washington, USA
Chateau Troplong Mondot, St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Giuseppe Quintarelli "Alzero" Cabernet Franc, Veneto, Italy
Diemersfontein "Reserve" Pinotage, Wellington, South Africa
Domaine Skouras "Synoro" Red Blend, Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece
Quinta do Noval Porto Vintage, Douro, Portugal

This is part of an ongoing series of original images and prose called The Essence of Wine

Comments (1)

Misanthropas wrote:
04.25.12 at 6:20 AM

I would add the Yalumba Signature red of 1997, even opened before the full maturity cycle of 15 years, when finally breathed correctly (with 4 buzzard-like drnkers waiting for first sip)showed the subtle at first, stronger in the aftertaste chocolate notes. It was so unexpected we asked for a piece of dark chocolate to verify the signal of our taste buds. What a pity it was a one-of winemaking! What a worse pity, its price has skyrocketed compared to the fact I had bought that one for 20 pounds in 1999.

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