Friends, I have been challenged. And I am afraid I have not met up to the expectations. But every time I “lose” a challenge, I plan to revisit it until I can satisfy both my ego and my readers.
The Challenge: Couple a foreign wine with a foreign candy
Seems simple, doesn’t it? I already had an Argentine red wine in mind, all I needed was a tasty candy. I knew I wanted something unusual and definitely something I had not yet tried. I also wanted to buy something you could get at a regular grocery store. I will branch out in the future to stranger tides, but I want this blog to be accessible. If you can’t find the candy, what is the point? How can I advise you?
I found quite an unusual candy and thought it could make a dashing suitor for my Argentine wine.
The Wine: Funky Llama, 2010, tempranillo
The Candy: Chocorooms, Meiji, Japan
I did not know anything about this wine except that it was red (what else is there to know, right?) And I don’t allow myself to cheat, because that is not how you learn. Looking at the wine, I didn’t think it was sweet. How could a funky llama be sweet, after all? I figured it would have a strong flavor, because that llama looks like he means business. So these cute little ‘shrooms seemed just the thing. They looked crisp, with just the right amount of milk chocolate. And they had personality. I wasn’t confident, since I did not know much about “tempranillo”, but I felt comfortable with my pick.
It wasn’t….bad exactly. But also not great.
Tempranillo, according to Wiki, “is a variety of black grape widely grown to make full bodied red wines.” It is known to have flavors of vanilla, tobacco, berries, plum, and herbs. Our llama has a citrusy, almost lemony flavor. It is strong and extremely flavorful. At the same time, I tasted a high amount of tannins. It ended on a bitter note, while remaining lovely.
But the Chocorooms sort of wilted underneath the strong flavor of the wine. The flavor was too subdued. Although tasty, they would probably go better with a Sauvignon Blanc than a Tempranillo. They pairing was not unpleansant-they went together fine. But I would suggest something bolder. In terms of international candies, I am not exactly sure what this would mean. I wouldn’t recommend anything with a crispy cookie part. It just didn’t work. I might suggest a gummy candy, like Haribo Berries. These Haribo, if I recall correctly, are strong. But their subtle sweetness would go well with this wine.
One reoccurring question this blog keeps bringing up: do opposites attract? Or not? It is certainly a factor to consider in the future.
Stay tuned for the Valentine’s Day special. In that blog post, I’ll be singing sweet nothings to the planet Earth by pairing an organic wine and candy.