Be different and celebrate the season with a wine and chocolate tasting!
It’s holiday time! A perfect reason to get together with friends, family, work associates and clients to express your appreciation for all they are and do.
Everyone can go out for drinks or to dinner but why not host a fun wine tasting or a wine and chocolate tasting? It’s fun and everyone can expand their horizons and learn something new. It can even be at a restaurant in a separate section if you’d like to have a different ambiance than at home. You can either bring in knowledgeable people who do tastings regularly to lighten the load in setting up and conducting the tasting or you can do it yourself.
Here are some do-it-yourself ideas to make your get together fun and engaging…
Create a theme! Maybe a “Holiday Cheer” or a “Let’s Celebrate” theme. And there are many other ways you can go. How about a “”Perfect Partners” or something more fun like a “Leather & Lace” theme?
Choose wines and chocolates that fit your theme. For example if you have the theme of “Let’s Celebrate”, showcase wines and chocolates that are having significant celebrations or have anniversaries or have won awards. For “Leather & Lace” theme, feature wines and chocolates that have smoky, leather, honey and floral flavors and aromas as well as wines and chocolates with velvety smooth and silky textures
Choose wines and chocolates that are not the usual suspects. Stay away from mass brands you see everywhere. Be different. Try small producers or artisans. You’ll find more interesting approaches with these types of makers
Get beyond the basic bar of chocolate. Select truffles, bon-bons or chocolate covered salted caramels for a multidimensional experience
Pick wine regions that you and your guests may have a personal connection with
Make sure each wine and chocolate pairing works. Not all wine goes with chocolate. The easiest approach is to pair them based on shared flavors and aromas. Do a trial run before the gathering
Design simple tasting cards for each of your guests that describe each wine and chocolate pairing
Have a staging table for tasting cards, wine glasses for guests to pick up when they enter the room
Set up stations around the room with each station featuring one pairing of wine and chocolate. Guests can wander around while they socialize or assign one guest per station to manage it and be knowledgeable about the pairing. You could even have them speak to the pairing to the group while everyone tries it
Assign different parts of the tasting to your guests to mix it up a bit and get more audience participation. Here are some examples:
Have one guest introduce the tasting fun everyone is about to have and how it will work. Don’t forget to introduce the theme!
Have a guest describe to everyone how to taste the wine and chocolate properly to get the most enjoyment out of the tasting
And most of all, have fun! Your event will surely be memorable for time to come!
Lisa Mecray Rogers, award-winning Master Chocolatier and Founder of Luxx Chocolat® xquisite artisan chocolate, ChocoVin Chocolate & Wine Tastings® and Luxx Academy du Chocolat offering classes with adults in mind, Ridgewood resident, recognized as one of 2014 and 2013 Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America. Luxx Chocolat offers unique handcrafted works of art. Nothing artificial, no preservatives, not mass produced.