Chocolate and Wine, a matching made in heaven

12 December, 2016

By David Stevens-Castro | Wine & Beverage Manager, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise

How many times have you started eating chocolate without thinking and suddenly you realize that you almost ate it all? Eating chocolate is an infinite pleasure, and no matter how worried you are about your health, there is always room for a little more. Wine for many is for special occasions, but those who drink daily in moderation, enjoy good health and are usually people who drink wine when they eat food. I am one of them, I find it almost impossible to eat without wine! Now, what happens when we combine Chocolate and Wine?

I recently had the opportunity to visit Hahndorf Hill Winery, which is in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. This winery – besides producing ‘crowd-pleasers’ varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio – specializes in the Austrian varieties Grüner Veltliner, Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt and Trollinger. Producing in cool climate, Hahndorf Hill grows its vines organically and sustainably on the slopes that make up the landscape and vineyards exposure, resulting in wines of pure and pristine fresh aromas as well as crispy and lively flavours.

Hahndorf Hill has a cellar door in the middle of its property and it is here where the trademarked experience ‘Chocovino’ is executed. What is this? It is a guided experience by a host who presents boutique chocolates of different origins which are carefully matched to the wines that they produce. The quality of the chocolates is impressive and it is easy to realize that they are truly special; the aromas, textures and consistency of the flavours evoke emotions and provoke the senses in a unique way, as if they were the best chocolate you have ever tasted.

Sitting on the corner of the restaurant terrace overlooking the vineyards on a breath-taking scenery I was taken on a journey that my taste buds will not forget. During my Chocovino experience I tried out the house speciality Austrian grapes varieties, the Grüner Veltliner white wine and the Blaufränkisch red wine. These two are selected for matching and contrasting the range of premium chocolates brought from France, Madagascar, Far North Queensland, Melbourne, Margaret River and the local chocolatier ‘Red Cacao’ in the Adelaide Hills.

How lucky am I that I got the chance to do a similar experience all over again at Balthazar Wine & Dining? With this experience under my belt and the knowledge gained on what is a quality chocolate, Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise is delighted to partner with Mayfield Chocolates to bring to life our own unique Chocolate and Wine Matching Event. With two shops close by, one at Pacific Fair and the other at Isle of Capri the synergies between both businesses are ready to be explored and bring together chocolate and wine lovers.­­­

Come and join us on Saturday the 17th of December from 4 to 5 pm at Balthazar Wine & Dining for a unique and flavoursome experience where you will get to taste the following:

Citrus Orchard Chocolate  I NV Brown Brothers ‘Limited Release’ Prosecco, King Valley, Australia

Macadamia Vanilla Truffle Chocolate I  2015 Kumeu River ‘Village’ Chardonnay, Kumeu, New Zealand 

Kakadu Chocolate I 2015 Felicette Grenache Blanc, Languedoc, France 

Precious Heart Chocolate I 2015 Zorzal ‘Terroir Unico’ Pinot Noir, Mendoza, Argentina

Woodland Chocolate I  2015 Ca’Rugate ‘Rio Albo’ Valpolicella, Veneto, Italy

($30 AUD = 1 piece of chocolate & 1 pour of 50ml per course)