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