Cakebread Cellars had been around for about 15 years when Joan and I first met Dolores and Jack Cakebread and their son Dennis on the “Big Island of Hawaii for the first Cuisines of the Sun cooking event. At that time, Choclatique® was not even a glimmer of an idea. Joan and I were completely tied up with The Food Show (ABC) and our consulting company, PERSPECTIVES/The Consulting Group, Inc.
While we were not yet making chocolate, Joan and I were certainly consuming a lot of it (and we still are, of course). During his afternoon cooking demonstration, Jack was trying to convince all that would listen that wine and chocolate was the perfect paring of nature’s finest foods. I made a comment to one of the other attendees that I had always enjoyed my wine with dinner and my chocolate dessert with a respectful interval of time in between. I was proved to be very wrong. Jack and Dolores changed my mind when I tasted their great Cabernet and Chardonnay with shards of dark, milk and white chocolate.
It was no surprise when we released Box of Bubbly—Dom Perignon Champagne Truffles—last year and they immediately became our second highest selling assortment in the Choclatique line. This popular flavor pairing of chocolate and wine opened the rest of the country’s eyes to wine chocolates.
Wine Chocolate Varieties
California’s wine country is an array of microclimates ideal for growing fine wine grapes and the source of wines used in the making of our Napa Valley Wine Chocolate assortments. We are pleased to offer:
Late Harvest Cabernet (Dark Chocolate)
A full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon ganache with the flavors of concentrated berry and plum notes layered with a hint of herbs and green peppers with sparks of smoky oak surrounded by our 64% intense Private Reserve Bitter Sweet Chocolate.
Fall Vineyard Merlot (Dark Chocolate)
A medium-body Merlot ganache with delicate hints of berry, plum, red cherry and currant, with a soft fleshiness of perfectly ripened vines, covered with our 64% Private Reserve Dark Chocolate.
Estate Chardonnay Chocolate (Milk Chocolate)
With the faint aromas of apple, lemon, peach and tropical fruits, the overall flavor is a delicately crisp, flinty flavor with overriding flavors of ripe, fleshy grapes with a buttery quality accented by the flavor of new oak. This full-bodied ganache delicacy takes on many of the qualities of sparkling California wines.
Sparkling Blanc de Chocolate (White Chocolate)
Blanc de chocolate is a dry and crisp white chocolate ganache (33%) made from California “Champagne” with barrel-fermented flavors for added complexity. The wine has aged notes and carries vibrant, fruitful and crisp natural flavors of the sparkling wine from which it is made.
Old Oak Barrel-Aged Port Chocolate (Dark Chocolate)
A big, rich Port wine flavor that is fuller, sweeter and a bit heavier than our other wine ganache. Made from fortified wine it is heavy-bodied, sweet and smoky and holds remembrance of the past and the dreams of the future.
First-Crush Fume Blanc Chocolate (Milk Chocolate)
In memory of an old friend, Robert Mondavi, we dedicate our milk chocolate ganache to the wine he made famous. The flavors of our Fume Blanc ganache are a bit tarter in natural fruit flavors such as gooseberry, honey citrus and green apple, with subtle hints of vanilla and tropical fruits like melon and pineapple and the tell-tale smoky finish.
Zinfandel Cuvée Chocolate (Dark Chocolate)
This elegant Zinfandel ganache has a good fruit concentration of mid-palate dark fruits including raspberry, black currant and subtle pomegranate flavors with white chocolate undertones. The subtle aromas of black raspberry and earthy minerals with a hint of purple violet are evident.
Pretty in Pink “Blush” Chocolate (White Chocolate)
A flirty, yet shy pink rose chocolate ganache with the fruity flavors of ripe strawberry, juicy peach and nectarine. The aroma is a delicate balance of raspberry and black cherry, plus hints of flint and slightly tart cranberry.
Choclatique Napa Valley Wine Chocolates were “un-corked” for the first time the last week in May at the Wine and Hospitality Network event at The Hess Collection Winery in Napa, California and the Wine Country Hilton, Santa Rosa, California for the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs—the world’s oldest and largest gastronomic society, founded in 1248.