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