A chocolate and wine pairing party is a great way to experience something new with friends and family, all while enjoying delicious food and drink! This post is sponsored by Lindt. Thanks for supporting companies I believe in and allowing me to create more unique content for you.
When it comes to dinner parties, I love experimenting with my friends and family. They always get to be my taste-testers for blog recipes. No two dinner parties are the same and no dinner party is complete with out a well-balanced meal followed by an excellent dessert.
You see, my friends and family have gotten used to waiting for my obligatory photo session (of the food) to end before diving right in. However, when I invited everyone over for the Lindt EXCELLENCE chocolate and J. Lohr wine pairing party, I knew I could set up and take the photos before the party, so our flow would not be interrupted.
Well, as luck would have it, the party happened to fall in the middle of August in Charleston, South Carolina. One of the hottest and wettest months all year long. When it rains almost every day with temperatures well into the 90’s, having a party outdoors is nearly impossible.
I invited everyone to the party in hopes that the weather would hold out. Alas, after spending the entire morning prepping for dinner and dessert, the bottom fell out. Dinner was in the oven and the chocolate & wine table was prepped and ready to be set up outside.
So much for that plan.
Fortunately, there was exactly a 15 minute break between thunderstorms and the beginning of the dinner party. While my parents watched Liam, my husband and I scrambled to shake off the oak tree branches, hang the decorations and move the chocolate and wine tablescape outside. We had to give the wine glasses and wine a few minutes to adjust to the insane amount of humidity outside. They were fogging up a whole lot.
Just as things were looking up for a quick photoshoot of the prepped table, my camera lenses began having a lot of trouble getting used to the humidity. After some scrambling and finally finding one lens out of all the lenses I brought with me that didn’t seem to be affected by the humidity, I snapped a few photos. And on that note, the rain came again.
We rushed to bring everything back into the dry house. There was no way we could have the party outside. It was at that point that I wished I lived in a more temperate climate for the summer. Ahh, the lovely crisp cool air. Anyone want to trade for the insane heat and humidity? 😉
Thankfully, my sisters, dad and I had just recently given my parent’s kitchen a makeover while my mom was on a mission trip, creating a lovely indoor backdrop for our party. With the chocolate & wine table relocated and set up, there was just enough time to get the dinner out of the oven and my humidified hair straightened again.
We were ready to party!
I had never hosted a pairing party before, but in this case it was delightful to experience such a fun thing together. Since I’m pregnant, I was the in-house photographer and narrator of the party. I would read the pairing details aloud while our friends and family tasted along. As I read, you could see their expressions agreeing exactly with the narration when they were tasting. Then, there would be moments of ‘Oh, wow!’, ‘It’s so right!’, ‘That’s amazing!’.
Lindt’s Master Swiss Chocolatier’s unmatched expertise to perfectly combine the most refined intense dark chocolate and the finest ingredients into thin shapes, made for perfect melting in your mouth during the pairing party.
Together, Lindt and J. Lohr have created amazing pairings that will allow you to elevate yourself to the ultimate chocolate pleasure experience. Lindt has truly mastered the art of refinement and creates an enchanting world of chocolate. They even sent me a few new and exciting flavors, like coconut, caramel with sea salt, lemon and even pineapple!
Here’s how to do proper tasting of the pairings:
- First, taste both the chocolate and wine individually.
- Next, take another piece of chocolate and let it slowly melt in your mouth.
- When the last bit of chocolate are all that remain in your mouth, take a sip of wine. Hold the wine in your mouth, coating your palate.
- Finally, notice the complex changes in taste as the wine compliments the chocolate flavor. The pairing will intensify and elevate the taste experience.
Let’s get started with the pairings!
Lindt EXCELLENCE Chocolate and Wine Pairing
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Pineapple paired with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay
- EXCELLENCE Pineapple bar – sweet pineapple, roasted hazelnuts,
- Chardonnay – aromas of apples, pears and lemons, well-balanced
- Combined – delightful finish of caramel and cream
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Intense Orange paired with J. Lohr Estates Bay Mist White Riesling
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Sea Salt paired with J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Merlot
- Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Thoughts on the Pairings
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili Chocolate paired with the J. Lohr Merlot was by far the favorite of the group. “I could appreciate the sumptuous surge of spicy flavor exploding (ok, exploding is a bit exaggerated) in my mouth. This pairing accentuated the special notes of the cocoa-based edible with the red-tinted, fermented semi-bold drink.” – my husband
- The runner up was the Lindt EXCELLENCE Pineapple Chocolate paired with the J. Lohr Chardonnay.
- While still delicious, the Lindt EXCELLENCE Sea Salt Chocolate paired with the J. Lohr Pinot Noir was the least favorite pairing. “It was not an unpleasant paring at all. I’ve just become immune to sea salt chocolate as a surprising gastronomic feast. Maybe unconsciously I was expecting the sea salt chocolate to have the ever-common-yet-delightful aggregate of caramel.” – my dad
- There was an overwhelming consensus to participate or host another chocolate and wine pairing party. “Whether I’m lounging in a tannin leather chair in the walnut library with a 70% cocoa chocolate and a satin glass of Cabernet, or out in the morning sun on the beach house front porch with the pineapple chocolate and a cool Chardonnay, there is always a place for a perfect pairing of wine and chocolate.” – my dad
- On another note: “The outstanding pairing for me was the intense orange chocolate with Riesling. Alone, the orange chocolate and the Riesling are wonderful and satisfying. Together, the experience was multiplied to exhilaration. The evaporation of the Riesling on a chocolate coated pallet made the orange astringent come alive to complement the buttery chocolate sensation. The followthrough was also long, satisfying and memorable. I appreciated the Riesling at a not-so-cool temperature. An overly chilled Riesling would have prevented the dynamic response that I so enjoyed from the melting chocolate notes with alcohol’s phase transition. Having the temperature on the upper end of the white spectrum did not dampen the fruity, semi-dry crispness of the Riesling either.” – my dad
- There was also a push from the group for Lindt and J. Lohr to create a party kit to purchase everything needed for the pairing.