Wine And Chocolate: They Are In Love In Savannah Georgia
Valentine’s Day in Savannah is here. Southern romance! And, to me, nothing is more romantic than wine and chocolate.. Together, you say? Yes! Dark chocolate and sweet wines create a marriage, so to speak, that will conjure up feelings both turbulent and comforting. Your taste buds will fall in love if nothing else.
Stan Ray, director of Cha Bella’s Wine Box program here in town offers an effervescent suggestion.
“Try a Brachetto from the Aqui region of Italy. It’s a naturally sweet, sparkling red wine. It’s not fully carbonated but is, as the Italians say, frizzante…slightly tickling the palate. It’s the color of rose petals and, when paired with a dark chocolate, tastes like a chocolate strawberry dancing on your tongue.”
Holy smokes! Where can I get some of that? I could do the strawberry dance right now.
As our good fortune would have it, we happen to have a gourmet chocolatier in Savannah’s Historic District just off of Wright Square. In fact, it’s called The Wright Square Cafe, sort of a coffee shop and confectionary all in one. They carry imported, domestic and house made varieties and they are all top drawer. Their truffles will make you swoon.
In fact, believe it or not, my favorite is their bacon/dark chocolate truffle. Fear not. There is not a big chunk fatty bacon in the middle, Instead, you taste the essence of bacon on the middle of your tongue, smoky, savory and earthy, then the bright bitterness of the dark cocoa hits the tip, back and sides. Woof! Now, my recommendation would be to pair that with a big old fruity red zinfandel, merlot or cabernet sauvignon. Don’t go too dry. I know that you’re dying to quaff that expensive bottle of Bordeaux that your rich uncle gave you last Christmas but it’s probably a little too tannic. Save that one for a few more years and drink it behind a fine mouthful of beef steak.
Now, I’m really going to get out there. How about a chocolate covered apple? Imagine sharing that with your true love. We have a store here in City Market called Savannah’s Candy Kitchen and, daily, they make the best candy apples anywhere, in my very humble opinion. If I were you I’d pop open a cold bottle Italian Prosecco, entwine my arms around my gal, then sip and chomp…at least. The Prosecco is similar to the Brachetto but it’s white and will do yummy things for the apple. A nice, dry riesling would be good as well…it just won’t have bubbles.
For creamier milk chocolates, I would consider some blends or zins. Cline makes a wine called Cashmere. To me, it’s a little too smooth to be interesting on its own but combined with a milk chocolate, that might be something those who don’t like dark chocolate might go for. Also, an Australian Shiraz would be delicious.
So, you sons of Pan, you daughters of Venus…your day approaches. Stir the fires of love. Kindle the passions of your heart. And share the warmth with your sweetie. It’s winter after all. A little wine…a little chocolate…fireworks will follow.