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Wine and Food Wednesday
Chocolate in Wine...So Who Needs Dessert?

By Stephen Eliot

My eye caught Cyril Penn’s oddly interrogative lead line of “Wines with Chocolate are Hot?” on this morning’s Wine Business listing of the past week’s more popular blogs (, and I rather expected to be entertained by said blog with yet one more discussion about the elusive joys to be found in the careful of matching of wine with chocolate. The headline, however, turned out to be an alert (or maybe something more akin to a warning) that fans of chocolaty ripeness apparently have a new fast track to pleasure and need no longer suffer the debilitating and inhibition-lowering effects of high alcohol California Zinfandel to get it. The answer, it seems, is ChocoVine, a new chocolate-flavored red wine from Europe.

With that realization, my first thought was that someone needs to be told that April Fool’s Day is in April, but no, it seems that folks in Holland have come up with a new mariage (huwelijk?) of French Cabernet Sauvignon and Dutch chocolate. No, really, I’m not kidding around here, and supposedly the stuff is taking off in the market with projections of a million case sales in the United States this coming year.

I know it sounds ghastly, at least at first, but it tips the scales at a modest 14% alcohol the way that any good “food wine” should, and it is made with real French Cabernet. It was awarded 90 points and a Gold Medal (cue the trumpets) by Chicago’s Beverage Testing Institute, and it is described on their website as follows… “minty milk chocolate nose. A rich entry leads a lush, velvety, full-bodied palate. Creamy, sweet, flavorful finish”. Hey, it sounds exactly like one of those overripe, over-oaked, high-ticket Napa Valley perverters of terroir to me. Of further note, it costs but a mere $12.00, and it can be readily found at your neighborhood Big Box retailer.

No, I do not think that the likes of Staglin, Shafer, Paul Hobbs and Harlan need to worry, but Moscato might be concerned about its NBT status, because there’s clearly a sweet new kid in town. I cannot say that ChocoVine is high on my gotta-try list of potentially important new wines, but you never know; when warmed up in the microwave and garnished with a handful of diminutive marshmallows, it might prove to be the perfect, cold-morning breakfast wine. I’ll leave it to someone else to find out.

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by Samantha Dugan
Posted on:6/8/2011 2:50:21 PM

Had a customer looking for it a few months ago and when we told him we didn't have it he gave us a, "Say Wha?!" face and replied, "How can YOU not have it? They have it at The WalMart in Cleveland!"......fingers on the pulse those WalMartians

No Subject
by Jason Ko
Posted on:6/11/2011 10:31:33 AM

Looks like people have done the tasting for you already:

by Stephen Eliot
Posted on:6/14/2011 12:22:10 AM

Nice to hear from you Jason, and I am relieved to have reviews out there so I do not actually have to taste the stuff. It looks like the cellar-trackers have a spread of points from 60 to 99! Once again, beauty or the lack thereof, resides in the eye of the beholder. I think I would opt for safety goggles myself if a bottle were to be opened in my presence. Still, nobody has weighed in on the warm w/marshmallows breakfast option...and please do not take this as either an invitation or dare.

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