Monday, January 30, 2012

St. Louis Eats: The Art of Chocolate and Wine

During my visit to St. Louis, Missouri, I had the great pleasure of attending The Art of Chocolate and Wine event hosted by Robust Wine Bar. Who knew St. Louis had such a wide range of local chocolate makers!? Not only were the companies sampling their chocolates, but Robust Wine Bar had their entire bar area was set up with wineries (both local and not) serving up tastings of wines that paired well with your chocolates. A helpful sheet guided you through the tasting, but let it open for interpretation and your own choices. For example, they recommended Taylor Flodgate First Estate with any Dark Chocolate; a Segura Viudas Heredad with a White or Milk Chocolate. Whether I choose to have Toasted Almond Dark Chocolate or Bacon Dipped in Dark Chocolate, the guide was a great aid!

Pairing White Chocolate: which we all know isn't really chocolate, but a blend of cocoa butter, sugar and a few solids. Sure, the food snobs turn their noses to this chocolate, but in  my opinion, when well do,  it's enjoyable and has an amazingly smooth mouth feel. Recommendations for pairing with wines: buttery, full-bodied whites, sparkling, white dessert, and German wines. 

Pairing Milk Chocolate: one of my favorite types of chocolate, because of the fantastic balance of bitterness and sweetness, milk chocolate will be my downfall. Depending on the roasting, conching and eventual tempering of the chocolate, you'll find nuances of caramel, coffee, cream and brown sugar in this chocolate. Wine Recommendations by Robust Wine Bar are: sparkling wines, semi-sweet to sweet wines, fruit-forward, medium bodied reds and port.

Pairing Dark Chocolate: the ever healthy, antioxidant filled chocolate! The one your doctor recommends (at least mine does!...Or so I think?!), this chocolate has bold flavors, intense bitterness balances out with spiciness and molasses nuances. Wine Recommendations include: Port, Sherry, Madeira, full-bodied reds and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Now, on to supporting local chocolate shops, even though they aren't local to you. All the shops showcased have either online shopping, and if not, you can always do it the old-fashioned way and pick up the phone and call in your order. Sharing these chocolates with your loved ones, specially for the upcoming chocolate overdose, why not choose to support one of these businesses? A few of my personal recommendations are: Oh Sheila's Bacon Dipped Chocolate, Mom's Original Pretzel Rods dipped in Milk Chocolate and Bissinger's Chocolate Covered Wine Grapes.

Below you'll find a list with the nine local chocolate shops showcased at the event. Shop around and support local shops in St. Louis. Any and all of these companies have great products that would make great Valentine's Day gift ideas...or actually, for any other day of the month!

Mom's Orginals
Phone Number: 314-616-6667

Little Dipper Chocolate
Phone Number: 314-775-4637

The Chocolate Affair
Phone Number: 618-654-9340

Oh Sheila! Chocolates
Phone Number: 314-681-8803

Kakao Chocolate
Phone Number: 314-771-2310

Phone Number: 314-345-1200

Phone Number: 314-367-7750

Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company
Phone Number: 314-965-6615

Phone Number: 314-352-4770

No comments:

Post a Comment