Sunday, December 2, 2012

Afternoon of Wine and Chocolate, How Sweet It is!

Last Sunday we made it back over to Crossing Vineyards and Winery in Washington Crossing, PA. This past September we had enjoyed an afternoon of Cheese and Wine pairings on the beautiful grounds that were just about ready to experience their harvest. This time around, the air was a little chillier, the vines were bare, and the winery was decorated for the holidays. We attended "How Sweet It Is", a wonderful experience learning how to pair wine and chocolate.
Yeah, we know, such a hard task. ;)

We have to mention that the chocolates were provided by the Naked Chocolate Cafe in Philadelphia and they are absolutely ah-may-zing! Pairing them with Crossing Vineyards' Award-Winning Red and Whites made for the perfect combinations. 

Here is a breakdown of our Wine & Chocolate Pairings:

1. 2010 Riesling and a Figaro Chocolate: 
We had tried this Riesling last time and liked it just as much then. It is floral on the nose with traces of honey. It is a light wine with no oak and a semi-sweet Riesling. The Figaro is a milk & dark chocolate combo with hazelnut that just melts in your mouth. It reminded us of Nutella. The chocolate neutralized the sweetness of the wine and made for a terrific, smooth and perfectly sweet pairing.

2. 2009 Merlot and an Espresso Chocolate:
We had this Merlot before, as well. It's a very oaky wine with traces of vanilla and berry. The bittersweet chocolate was perfect for the strong tannins in the wine. Both have a nice Espresso finish making it a great match.















3. 2010 Cabernet Franc and an Extra Double Dark Chocolate:
This Cab Franc smells musky and dirty, but when it hits your pallet it is just smooth and delicious. Pairing this with some extra dark chocolate was decadence at it's finest. The rich chocolate really brought out the berry flavors in the wine. Heaven.













4. Chambourcin and Dark Chocolate Pomegranate:
We sampled the Chambourcin last time, as well. It is a medium bodied wine that smells of chocolate covered cherries and has a oaky and light truffle taste. To pair it with Dark Chocolate Pomegranate helped remove some of the oakyness and created a smooth, decadent combintation.













5. Wild Berry Wine and a Dark Chocolate Raspberry:
This wine is made with 80% blueberries and 20% raspberries. Ironically, pairing it with the dark chocolate raspberry helped neutralize the sweetness in the wine. It was a nice combination but still a little too fruity and sweet for our taste. Would make a nice dessert.












6. Late Harvest Vidal Blanc and Milk Chocolate Caramel:
The wine has an interesting and unique smell that reminded us a little of crazy glue. We were a little apprehensive to try it, but once we did we were surprised at how different it tasted. It's actually a sweet wine. Pairing it with the milk chocolate caramel broke down some of that sweetness and created a nice light sweet taste.













As an added bonus we were able to sample two additional wines...

 The Chocolate Cherry Truffle Wine
We had actually sampled this while visiting the Tasting Room the last time and weren't the biggest of fans. Interestingly, this time around we really enjoyed it. Having chocolate along with a chocolate wine really made a difference. This would make for a great dessert or sweet treat. Note the thick layer of wine left behind on the glass after swirling? This is due to the high alcohol content...this wine packs 17%.

2012 Le Nouveau
This is Crossing's most recent debut. The Beaujolais Nouveau is a nice, light wine...a little too light for our taste, but definitely decent. It's very low in tannins. As the French name signifies, it is a very new wine and should be consumed within a year. This is the kind of wine you serve to someone who is not a huge red wine fan, or who is trying it for the first time.

Crossing Vineyards and Winery has really become one of our favorite spots. We learned a lot about pairing wine with chocolates, which will be a great benefit during the holiday celebrations. The fact that all of the chocolates and wines were delicious definitely helped! If we have one critique it would be the lack of bread, crackers or snacks. There was a lot of sweetness going on there, not that it's a bad thing, but some salty munchies would have been a nice touch. ;-) If you're looking for something different to do and you're near the area, we highly recommend you check out one of Crossing Vineyards many fun activities. 

To read our review and highlights of Crossing Vineyard's 
Wine and Cheese Pairing Class: CLICK HERE

The End.