Despite the fact that I used to go to Paarl once a week, I have never once stopped in at Laborie. The Laborie wine estate is situated as you enter Paarl on the R45 and has the most amazing view of the mountains. I told my parents that in winter they are covered in snow and that you cannot imagine in summer the temperature climbs to 44° Celsius. We went on a perfect winter’s day – no wind and it was by no means cold. For the Laborie Chocolate And Wine Pairing there are two options, and being that we were 2 couples, we chose to do both. Dave and I shared the one set of tastings, and my parents, who were down here from Johannesburg, shared the other set.
The idea is to taste the wine, then taste the chocolate and then taste the wine again to see how the chocolate affects the taste of the wine. We started off with the Methode Cap Classique Rosé which was paired with a milk rose geranium chocolate. The wine was dry and with a full mouth feel and slightly acidic. The rose geranium was so distinct that you could smell it as you brought the chocolate to your mouth. Our second glass was the Chardonnay with a white lemon verbena chocolate. The wine is light with a hint of guava and granadilla and I am quite inspired to bake with my lemon verbena I have growing at home. We changed the progression of the tasting and moved onto the red wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon was paired with a dark malted cherry chocolate which was all about the cherry. The wine was very nice and dry and the cherry in it complimented by the chocolate. The Shiraz came with a milk Cape Malay spiced chocolate and the wine was smooth with a bit of acid and surprisingly no shiraz aspects that one expects. I loved the chocolate and this is another flavour I need to play around with in desserts. We then went back to the first tasting combination and had the Pineau, a thin sweet wine which was accompanied by a white plum and vanilla chocolate. We ended with the Alambic Brandy which was paired with a dark orange chocolate.
The chocolate definitely alters the taste profile of the wine. Each one we tasted was really sweet and I was surprised at how much the white chocolate improved the Chardonnay. The dark orange chocolate was divine and by far my favourite, and it was very good with the Brandy.
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