Wednesday, February 3, 2010

You Can Have Your Wine 'n' Chocolate and Enjoy It, Too!

By Cal Orey,
The Writing Gourmet

It's winter and I'm feeling like it is spring at Lake Tahoe. Yes, this mermaid wannabe enjoyed swimming infinite laps this afternoon in the pool. It was total bliss--probably like the perfect glass of red wine and dark chocolate. This morning I was interviewed on a radio show with William Clower, Ph.D., a wizard of the Mediterranean way of life. We talked chocolate with a savvy East Coast chocolatier who knows chocolate. Tomorrow at 8:30 A.M., I'll be a guest on L.A.'s What's Cookin' radio program for another helping of chocolate chat and joined by West Coast chocolatier Michael Recchiuti. After all, it is the month for amazing chocolate power and Heart Health Month...
Speaking of chocolate, wine, and hearts, in my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate, I discuss the health benefits of both red wine and chocolate. While I do not drink, I do know that red wine--in moderation--is good for your heart and spirit and is included in the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle.
Wine gura Anita L. LaRaia, author of Pick a Perfect Wine in No Time, knows the perks of wine, and chocolate, too. "For over a century, European chocolate makers from the Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, and Spain have known how to indulge in Grand Cru Chocolat without getting fat or clogging their arteries. Their secret is portion control, and the double dose of antioxidants from dark chocolate and red wine."
Pairing Chocolate and Wine
Here are a few wine and chocolate marriages made in heaven, according to our wine gal.
* Zinfandel (California): Perfect Chocolate Partner: "Zinfandel is a good match for semi-sweet dark chocolate--and there is a sweet Zinfandel chocolat port that's made as a chocolate sauce for pouring on ice cream, or for dipping strawberries," says LaRaia.
* Shiraz: Perfect Chocolate Partner: "Australia makes a sparkling Shiraz with a deep red color and very grapey flavor that is great with milk chocolates [the red wine will give you your health fix] or dark chocolate truffles," says LaRaia, who adds that there's another grape spin-off wine popular in California called Petite Sirah that is a perfect partner for "big, bold, single-origin dark chocolates--with or without spicey chile peppers or berries added."
* Ruby or Vintage Porto: Perfect Chocolate Partner: The wine instructor recommends a ruby or vintage Porto would go well with a dark chocolate mousse cake.
The bottom line: Some days and nights, it's okay to stay out of the kitchen. No recipes. No cooking. No baking. Simply go out to a hot spot for wine and dessert or fetch 'em at a gourmet shop and indulge in these flavonoid-rich to-live-for superfoods at home. And yes, you can treat yourself to a glass of wine and chocolate truffle or small slice of chocolate cake. Just do it in moderation. In other words, savor the moment and seize the day.


  1. 12 more days until my birthday. Getting older and wiser. Well, I don't know about wiser. The body is slowing down and the bones are aching. Can't do to much about that. Still care and love my writer friend.


  2. Bob,
    Dark chocolate (70% cocoa content) can help boost your body's endorphins and release some pain for a while...Really!