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Info Details
Country USA   
Type Flavored   (Wine; 65% cacáo-content)
Strain Amazon   
Source Ghana   
Flavor Naked   (with Crossover pretense)
Style Industrial      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Napa has about as much to do with chocolate as Greenwich, CT -- home to famed entertainers, all-star athletes & superclass hedge fund managers -- does low-income housing (fortunately for them, food stamps & subsidies -- the 1%'s contribution to offsetting unlivable wages -- keeps most people in the Bronx). Both Greenwich & the Bronx draft off the other to their own benefit (e.g., subprime mortgages).

Oh, yeah, right, k, got it... wine-infused chocolate. Like drinking & driving, a perilous idea, that often winds up in a dead-end of clash-crash mashups; an accident that already happened.

But exploration is hard-wired in the DNA so for those who insist to scratch the itch, forget fear & uploading logarithms, charts, classifications, spider-graphs & more guidelines on the latest app that juxtapose flavor combinations for the "perfect match". They rarely work -- for dating or food; leading mostly to "appathy".

Just go ahead, develop an instinctive sense for what succeeds or, more likely, fails. And remember, even while in a coma, seriously bad choices can lead to a "teachable moment".

Here's to a happy accident.

Bon appetite et bon voyage.

Autopsy brain-scan after Napa Chocolate by Van Leer?
Appearance   4.1 / 5
Color: dirt brown
Surface: idealized by The Machine
Temper: semi-gloss
Snap: buttons up; straight edge
Aroma   7.2 / 10
teases gianduia praliné only to yield to coconut shells, vanilla, heavy wood plank
Mouthfeel   13.4 / 15
Texture: silken
Melt: uptempo
Flavor   40.6 / 50
vanilla -> standard baseline cocoa -> flash red blush, an interruptus causing some wood barks & bite -> calmed by coconut cream expressing more cocoa with a tannic dusting -> brown butter soothes it further to air smoked pignola & pimento
Quality   14.8 / 20
Van Leer owner Barry Calebaut claims "fine Ghana origin". Re: luxury Toyota... bulk-grade cocoa married to bulk grape vino. Neither stand much of a chance on their own.

Together, however, they tell a different story.

Wine gives it more than just a little color alone; it interlines the chocolate so that the duo galvanize those smoke notes at the finale, a combination roast (cocoa) / ferment (alcohol). And just a drop or two (virtually homeopathic) to keep this kid-legal. That's what makes it work. Higher levels of spirit could've amplified the heat.

Sure, the mid-point undergoes some friction but cocoa butter mediates & 35% sugar rushes in to counteract technical flaws (over-roasting; strip conching) & any uncomplimentary flavors.

As oenophiles wuv to say, 'felicitous'.

Reviewed March 26, 2013

  

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