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Category Archives: Chardonnay

A Chewy, Spooktacular Pairing

A Chewy, Spooktacular Pairing

Hello all,

As tired as I am of seeing/hearing/tasting the word spooktacular I used it in my blog post—what can I say? ‘Tis the season.

Bottoms Up!

                          Bottoms Up!

It has been a little over a month since my last pair which I have decided is respectable. Evidently, you all needed some TRUE candy/wine pairing since Halloween is when a lot of various blogs become wine/candy experts. I can’t have you be led astray, now can I?

My friend Megan requested I pair a candy of her choice with a wine, so this post is a result! Let’s get to it, shall we?

The Wine: Alamos, Chardonnay, 2012

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The Candy: Laffy Taffy, Caramel Apple

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The Dream:

I chose a chardonnay because it could balance the sweetness of Laffy Taffy. I also thought the subtleness of the wine would play well with the caramel apple flavors. Chardonnay is also very light whereas taffy is very sticky and cumbersome to chew.

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The Reality:

The taffy is very sweet and reminds me more of a candy apple versus a caramel apple (yes, there’s a difference). The taffy is not all that chewy either. Readers, you may be thinking: Liz, Laffy Taffy is never that chewy. Well, some of us choose to eat taffy after it has gone stale ok…..

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The chardonnay is lovely–not too distinct and not too dry. It is a very neutral chardonnay. The wine goes slightly sour when paired with the candy, but otherwise they combine nicely. The apple of the candy leaves an appealing after taste when combined with the wine. We decided it was a hit!

(If you were thinking I was going to pair candy corn, well, been there, done that.)

I hope you all have a fabulous and SAFE Halloween (look both ways when crossing the street, don’t block your vision with a mask, and DON’T DON’T DON’T drink and drive….use this directory of national designated driver services).

BOO!!

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A Weird Start to a Weird Year

Happy New Year!

As promised, I am getting this post out to you before upcoming events and weekends sweep me away. My candy bowl is getting really full so I am going to make an effort to be extra vigilant to pair more often. This upcoming pairing is definitely odd. I have never heard of this candy but I found it back in November and knew I had to feature it. I can’t really say the pairing was good or bad—just unusual. Starting the New Year off right (really weirdly)!

The Wine: Chardonnay, The Wonderland Project, Vintage 2012 “La Reine Blanche”

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Long Live the Queen

The Candy: Abba-Zaba, Peanut Butter Filled Taffy (Strawberry & Plain)

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The Dream:

Wow. Peanut butter-taffy filled taffy….pretty wild. I picked the Chardonnay because I thought the dry sweetness would compliment the salty peanut butter. Chardonnay can really cleanse the palate and compliment a dish. I thought after chewy salty-sweet taffy, the Chardonnay would offer a nice clear flavor to relieve the tastebuds.

An Inside Look

An Inside Look

The Reality:

Both taffies are incredibly chewy because, again, I bought them in November. I really should have paired them immediately. The strawberry is has that unnatural saccharine sweetness with a touch of tartness. It reminds me a lot of strawberry laffy taffy which obviously makes sense. The peanut butter is good on its own–it’s that cheap sugary peanut butter you find in Reese’s. The candy is just bizarre on the whole. It’s like a train-wreck in your mouth–you really should stop eating it but it’s just so horrifying you can’t stop.

The wine is light, sweet and not very dry. There are some prominent pear notes with a nice hint of lemon. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t say it is my favorite Chardonnay. I do love that label though. When paired with the strawberry it is light and refreshing but does not add anything. I sort of ripped open the taffy to get more of the peanut butter but I don’t know if that helped.

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The plain taffy really doesn’t have anything going on. It is in fact plain. I would have preferred at least a vanilla or something because it is so much chewy taffy before the peanut butter. Again, the wine is perfectly fine. I think you lose a lot of the flavors of the wine because your  mouth is just so confused by the taffy. It’s like someone interrupting you when you are really busy and you have no idea how to respond. After you swallow the taffy the wine is delightful but I think I am just happy I am no longer eating the taffy?

I don’t know guys. It was a weird ride. I ate this taffy so fast as well. If you are not allergic to peanuts, I would try this candy just for kicks. I really have no clue what a better wine would have been. I think the fact the wine didn’t taste absolutely awful with the pairing is a success.

 

A Twist on a Classic

Happy Thursday. I hope all of my super cool readers are doing well. I know the end of summer looms on the horizon. For some of you it is exciting and for others maybe not so much. Either way, I hope you are coming to peace with the coming fall.

To help you find that inner happiness, I came up with a lovely pairing. It is not revolutionary, but it’s good wine and intriguing candy. Full disclaimer: all the wines for the next 6 postings or so will be classier wines. I snagged a great Groupon for a wine store in downtown DC. I recommend Groupon for finding wine deals. Sometimes they are not actually deals, but when they are you can get a decent haul. I even got one of those fancy bags with different slots for wine…for you know, all those instances where I need to buy a bunch of wine at once (come to think of it, I could use that bad boy to recycle a lot of my bottles!) For some of my readers, this wine may not seem so top-shelf. But for a lowly 23-year old, these wines are absolute treats. I have even enforced a one-glass at a time rule so they don’t dwindle away. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Our candy is an interesting one. It was too intriguing to pass up and of course it came from Trader Joe’s. They are chocolate raspberry sticks. If you read that and have no idea what I am talking about, you are in good company. When Sam and I saw them it was an instant ‘yes.’ I thought the touch of raspberry and the thin chocolate shell could play well with the chardonnay.

The Wine: Cinnabar, 2010

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Starry Eyed

I loved the cap to this wine so I have to share it. It’s adorable, while staying classy. It has a wonderful whimsy to it.

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It’s a blurry photo because this cap excited me that much

The Candy: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Raspberry (Jelly) Sticks

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I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly….stick

The Dream: 

This candy combined two different types of candy–chocolate and jelly-gummy candy. Gummy candies are difficult to pair, so the chocolate edge and the substantial amount of jelly in the middle offered a promising treat. The flavor range was not too big, which made the pairing easier to manage. Chocolate and raspberry are classics, but this candy has a twist to make it interesting. Chardonnay can usually hold its own against sweetness. It can be very potent and since I knew I had a high quality wine, I felt confident. But I sort of always feel confident, so that’s neither here nor there.

ImageThe Reality: 

A sip of this wine is an onslaught of flavor with notes of tart green apples and ripe pears. It is extremely dry and pungent, which for me is what a Chardonnay should be. It’s refreshing and you savor each sip to extract the play between tart and crisp. The color is a deep yellow, like the skin of a ripe lemon. I enjoyed this wine over several days and it felt like luxury. This wine would be wonderful to share with some close friends on a late August evening.

The candy is intriguing. They are indeed jelly sticks surrounded by chocolate. No doubt about that. The milk chocolate is typical but the gummy center is far squishier than I expected. The raspberry is not overly sweet but rather sour. Your lips pucker a bit and the amount of filling washes away the chocolate from the tongue. It really is tasty. I suggest freezing them as well.

Together, these two make a nice pairing. The wine does not go sour after the sweet treat and both are strong flavor wise individually. But I don’t think either one enhances the other. They are both good and they taste well together, but there are no fireworks. The raspberry leaves that slight tart kick that lingers lightly for no more than a second with the chardonnay. An interesting surprise.

I recommend this pairing overall. The jelly sticks are fun, but mostly because the are called jelly sticks. The wine is simply mouth watering. You can’t lose when you are consuming these two, and truly, what else can you ask for?