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Pinot Noir & Later

Hey all! I hope you had a happy holiday and didn’t suffer at the hands of your families. We are looking down the barrel of awful weather but perhaps you already experienced it. Remember to stay safe and keep off the road, especially if you try the treat below. I hope to include some Christmas candy soon, but honestly I have so much candy in my house right now to pair that I may not. I mean, Xmas candy is pretty much the same…chocolate, mint, etc. Been there, done that.

If you are my age, it is very likely you indulged in the candy I am featuring today. Additionally, you may have forgotten about it so here I come with a real blast from the past!

The Wine: Cava Pinot Noir, 2009

IMG_2535The Candy: Now & Later



The Dream:

A pinot noir cava! How exciting! I immediately picked this wine for the pairing because of how unique it sounded. Also, being a cava, it has a nice lightness and the pinot noir offers a fuller flavor. Now & Laters are extremely sweet and chewy, so I did not want anything too sugary. The cava pinot noir offered the ideal balance.

The Reality: 

The pinot noir is bubbly and the bitterness is a bit off putting initially. I think of the wine you sip at church and that distracts me. After a few sips, the flavor flattens out into a pleasant sweetness. It is difficult to get any flavor notes or distinct flavors. And you definitely can’t blow through a glass of this–it’s a lot to take in.



Let’s break this down by Now & Later flavor:


At first this pairing isn’t that impressive, but when the bubbles interact with the candy it adds a little sweetness to the pinot. The effect is not at all unpleasant, though I am not necessarily eager to keep eating.


Though this is tasty enough, it doesn’t add anything to the wine that is remarkable or worth noting.


I enjoyed this pairing a lot. The tartness of the watermelon adds a kick that lightens the sometimes bitter pinot flavor.


Not good. The combination creates an unwanted liquor flavor. Blech.

Well, there you have it! A classic candy from my kidhood which brought back found memories of gooey candy bits stuck in teeth. Hopefully, I will have another post up before the holidays!

See you later! (see what I did there?)

Cheers, Salut, Etc.

Welcome to Uncorked, Unwrapped

I love to drink wine. I also love to eat candy.  But recently, I found myself asking: what if I could make those two worlds collide into the perfect combination of flavors? It would, without any sense of hyperbole, be spectacular. I owe a lot of this idea to one bottle of Malbec as well as the this post by MattBites: “Anything Inside a Tortilla.”

Some would argue that wine pairing is an art. From a hefty steak to a gourmet Asian dinner, there is a wine for the occasion. A wino, a very sophisticated wino mind, would be the only one fit for the task.

Well, I’m not that person. I stumble through wines. I pair my dinner with whatever wine bottle is the coolest or my latest obsession. I will drink only Malbec for months, bringing it to parties so I don’t have to explore other options. I’ll walk lazily through a store until I can find a Cupcake that suits my needs.

It is time for me to learn through the best means possible: by eating candy.

This blog will not be snobby. It will most definitely not be classy. It will not be a restaurant review from the New Yorker. I will sample the cheapest wines with the worst store-brand jellybeans. Sometimes I will try to pair candy with wine, or wine with candy. Most of the time I will probably fail. But when I succeed, it will be…not to be cheap..pretty sweet.

With my glass raised, her goes nothing:

Wine: Andean Sky, 2011 Chardonnay

"The Height of Freshness"

2011 Mendoza, Chardonnay

Candy: Lindt Excellence. 90% Cocoa Supreme Dark

"Deliciously intense, Surprisingly Balanced"

The Dream:

My choice behind the pairing was so simple, it was too good to be true (hint: it didn’t work). To me, white wine is either dry or sweet. Since I go into these pairings without any research, I based the choice on my preconceived notion that Chardonnay is a sweet wine. Balancing the sweet was the challenge at hand. Chocolate seemed obvious, because the other bitter candies were either salty or not bitter enough. I chose the darkest chocolate available at my neighborhood Giant: Lindt chocolate 90% cocoa.

The Reality:

Although the two make a pretty picture, they don’t necessarily compliment each other. The wine had a soft flavor instead of an overwhelming sea of sweet. It tasted subtle and smooth. It turned out, this chardonnay needed a partner that could compliment its softer side. The chocolate was far too dark-the expected sweetness of the chardonnay was supposed to balance the dark, intense flavor of the chocolate. Instead the thick and almost chalky Lindt stuck to your mouth as the Chardonnay could barely battle such strong flavors. It was still a tasty treat, but not the pairing I had hoped.

A doomed pair

Takeaway: Chocolate is the type of candy to pair with a chardonnay. The challenge is to find the right type of chocolate. Is milk chocolate too sweet? Or is there an ideal middle ground? Or is chocolate not the way to go?

I’ll keep this blog as updated as possible. I am welcome to challenges. Do you want to know what wine goes well with a Mallow Cup? Do you enjoy a good Pinot Noir, but can never find the perfect licorice to match it? In these cases, I will try until I succeed. Whatever the costs.