Pairing wine and chocolate…secrets revealed. The Wine Ladies Radio/TV April 2010 TV!

To view the entire TV show episode, “Wine, Chocolate… Simple Divine!” and to subscribe to the podcast for previous episodes. Click here. We’ll explore the wonders of chocolate, its parallels with wine, and how it pairs with wine, simply divine! Joining us in studio Steve Thurlow l a passionate wine aficionado who has had a long history with wine. He is among many other things, Senior Editor at Wine Access magazine and founder of the Canadian Wine Awards. Also in studio owner and chocolate lover and expert Lyle Bleich of Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut of Oakville, Ontario. And if you happen to miss the live show not too worry you can catch the podcast and all the archived shows at anytime. Set that dial to The Jewel Radio Network at 88.5 FM in Toronto, 98.5 in Ottawa and 107.7 in Hawkesbury on line at  Sunday morning at 8:30a.m. to connect with The Wine Ladies radio show.


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Chocolate has been around for over 4000 years and is believed to have originated in the Amazon or Orinoco basins in South America. Derived from the “theobroma cacao tree” it was regarded as being of divine origin or “food for the gods’. It has a colorful and interesting path. Often used as currency it was brought to Europe in 1502 by Christopher Columbus but was not yet fully appreciated until 40 years later when the conquistador Herman Cortes introduced it to the Western World. Casanova found the chocolate drink to encourage all sorts of physical prowess and found it as useful a lubrication to seduction as champagne. Chocolate even had a role in espionage when an apprentice of the Swiss Chocolate company Suchard-Tobler unsuccessfully attempted to sell chocolate recipes to Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries. What is it about chocolate that incites such pleasure? Is it truly an aphrodisiac? Yes, in fact several components in chocolate have been linked to mood and potential “aphrodisiac” effects. First on the list of “love drugs” is phenyl-ethylamine (PEA) which also naturally occurs in the brain. PEA is chemically similar to amphetamine (leading to its nickname “chocolate amphetamine” ) and has been shown to have similar effects: feelings of attraction, excitement and giddiness. What are the health benefits of chocolate? Chocolate is made from plants, which means it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from aging caused by free radicals free, which can cause damage that leads to heart disease. Dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries). Flavonoids also help relax blood pressure blood through the production of nitric oxide, and balance certain hormones in the body.  Wine and cheese are naturals but wine and chocolate? This concept has been gaining ground in recent years. However, there are definitely some wine and chocolate paring rules to get the most out of this decadent combination. Basic principles of pairing wine and chocolate. 1. Sweetness. Make sure that the sweetness of the chocolate matches the sweetness of the wine. Wines with some sweetness like a Shiraz from Australia or a Malbec from Argentina have “fruit sweetness” in them and are a good choice. 2. Tannins. Make sure that the wine are low in tannins ( bitterness of the wines). If there is too much tannins in the wine it will accentuate the bitterness in the chocolate. So a good rule of thumb is to select wines from the new world as opposed to European wines which generally have more tannins and will react against the chocolate. 3. Acidity .Make sure that the wine has some nice acidity or back bone to them. Chocolate has fat in it so wines with acidity will be a good choice as it will cleanse the palate So in conclusion wines with some sweetness, that are low in tannins and have good acidity. Wines selected for the show Wonambi Shiraz 2007, Taylor Fladgate 20 year Old Tawny Port, Chateau des Charmes 2007 Riesling and are in a shared list at Wine Align.


The Bernard Callebaut chocolates paired up with the wines included 75% pure wafer cocoa from Dominican Republic with the Wonambi Shiraz and the Tawny Fladgate 20 year Old Tawny Port ( fortified and aged in wood)The Late Harvest Chateau Charmes 2007 Riesling matched up beautifully with the white chocolate with cocoa butter and Canadian Maple Syrup.

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