Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wine Meets Chocolate: Taste Sensation of the Year

Where on earth has almost a year gone. We’ve both been away and busier than ever. But thought we'd start getting back in touch with everyone by passing along something fun to get your day going. Hot off the wire!

The French use it to seduce, the English for comfort. Mexicans revel in its healing properties, and the Aztecs thought it more precious than gold. Just in time for Easter, trust the Kiwis to successfully combine chocolate and wine – a decadent marriage of quality and taste.

“We are very excited about this new varietal,” says Erica Crawford, co-founder of Kim Crawford Wines, via a news release. “The 09 Pinot Chocolat is unique and another world first for New Zealand.”

Apparently developed under a shroud of secrecy using only the finest Ghana cocoa beans, it took eight gooey months of testing before the essence of chocolate from cocoa beans could be extracted at the right acidity to successfully infuse with the pinot grapes.

“There was some controversy in the beginning,” Erica admits. “Although it tastes delicious, many stalwarts in the Kim Crawford Wines team wanted to veto the idea as they felt it would mar the integrity of the brand. However, in the interests of starting something new, we decided to emulate our forefathers who brought the first vines to this country. We threw caution to the wind and jumped in.”

Once poured, the difference between the colour of Pinot Chocolate and Pinot Noir is subtle. The wine retains the walnut plum of the red grape but, when held up to the light, you can see just a hint of russet. Consistency is a little more viscous but it appears to hang nicely on the glass with the weight adding an air of decadence.

Kim Crawford Wines has timed the release for Easter and is working on a limited edition, Easter-egg style foil wrapped packaging for the first 1,000 bottles. The remainder will look much like the rest of Kim Crawford wines, except for the quirky new foil lid.

Kim Crawford Wines indicates there are plans to add to the Vino Chocolat range with seasonal flavours: Sauvignon Blanc Chocolat with a distinctive winter white colour, Suisse Chardonnay for a clever balance of sweet and buttery notes, and an indulgent Merlot Lait Chocolat.

For a sneak preview go to:

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