“Enter as strangers ~ Leave as friends.” ~ greeting in the tasting room at James Cole
In the gorgeous, candlelit wine cellar of James Cole Winery on the Silverado Trail in Napa, guests were treated to a veritable Valentine’s Day wine and chocolate festival. While Willy Wonka may have missed the festivities (he really was supposed to make an appearance), the festive spirit soared. I missed them too so, my apologies, the pictures here are not of the event, but hopefully, capture the beauty and spirit of James Cole Winery. For pictures of the actual event, visit the winery blog at James Cole.
Guests, with Golden Tickets in hand, were treated to a chocolate extravaganza: six scrumdidilyumptious chocolate truffles and a luscious caramel in dark chocolate, each paired perfectly with James Cole featured wines. And just to make things even more delightfully delicious, two chocolates were paired with one wine in a taste off….
The simply scrumptious pairings were:
- 2008 “Umbral” Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon with Fleur de Sel Chocolate & Caramel
- 2008 ”Aliento” Bordeaux Blend with Blackberry Truffle
- 2008 “Il Mostro” Proprietary Red Wine with Black Cherry Truffle
- 2008 Cabernet with Mocha Truffle, infused with Kahlua and Espresso
- 2008 Malbec with Chile Pepper Truffle
- 2010 “Jaden” Merlot Ice Wine from Okanagan Valley, Canada with Chile Pepper Caramel in Dark Chocolate and Ginger Truffle rolled in tiny morsels of Candied Ginger
For those of you who are new to Ice Wine, it’s a dessert wine made from grapes grown in colder climates, primarily Canada and Germany, that are left on the vine until they freeze. The result is a refreshingly sweet wine. The “Jaden” Merlot Ice Wine brings a hint of spicy heat with its sweetness, so we paired it with two savory chocolate truffles that balanced sweetness with spice. And the winner of the Ice Wine and chocolate pairing, by just two votes, was the Chile Pepper Caramel!
The day of wine and chocolate at James Cole was indeed deliciously delightful (or is that, delightfully delicious?) Guests were transformed by the beautiful tasting experience and left as good friends with just a little more joy in their hearts in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
In the words of Willy Wonka himself, ”a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”