Monday, October 6, 2014

Chocolate and Wine Pairing at Chocolate Therapy (Framingham, MA)

I recently joined a group of bloggers at Chocolate Therapy in Framingham. Chocolate Therapy is a husband and wife-owned specialty handmade chocolate shop just outside of Boston. Just like the name suggest, Chocolate Therapy tries to add therapeutic ingredients in the chocolate, like lavender, bay leaf, ginger, etc.

They use primarily Belgian chocolate and make a lot of European style dark chocolates with no additive. They also do customized chocolate orders. Perhaps you want to outdo this giant chocolate goat they made for a goat dairy farm?

Anyway, I was there for a chocolate and wine pairing event. Before the wine pairing, the husband walked us through the chocolate making process. Cocoa pods (pictured below, bigger than you'd imagine!) are fermented, then the beans are squeezed so that the cocoa butter is squeezed out. The rest is ground and eventually made into what is called chocolate liquor.
The main differences between chocolate types is the ratio between the two. Swiss chocolate is creamier and has more cocoa butter compared to chocolate liquor. Belgian chocolate has a little less cocoa butter. It takes the pods from 2 cocoa trees to make 1 pound of chocolate! No wonder it's expensive. 
We moved on to tasting four different truffles paired with wines. 

The first is Lemon lavender (dark chocolate ganache with lemon puree and lavender, topped with crystallized lemon peel) paired with Alfresco Sauvignon Blanc.

I don't think I've ever had white wine with chocolate before this, but it worked well since it's a lemon truffle. The lemon truffle was pretty tart and the wine makes it sweeter. On the other hand, the chocolate makes the white wine less acidic. 

Next we had a Milk chocolate truffle paired with The Californian Vintager Petite Syrah. This is an oaky petite Syrah; very heavy with some pepper notes. The oakiness paired well with creamy, sweet milk chocolate. They decided on this pairing since there's actually black pepper in the truffle.

The third is the Strawberry Balsamic Truffle (balsamic vinegar and strawberry puree dark chocolate ganache) paired with A 90+Cellars Lot 111 Pinot Noir. The pinot noir is light and bright with a lot of berry notes. I thought the chocolate truffle by itself is jammy, but with the wine you get more berry flavor with less of the jam. 

The last pairing is apparently of their most popular truffle:
Sea Salt Caramel (buttery caramel with Tahitian vanilla and sea salt dipped in Belgian dark chocolate topped with Himalayan pink salt). This was  paired with a 10 year old Quarles Harris Tawny port. Well, chocolate and port has always been one of my favorite pairings.

You can check out their many fun flavors, like sweet potato truffle (also popular), or one made with beer hops. 

If you'd like to try out a wine pairing, check out their event schedule online.

Disclaimer: This event was hosted


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