Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ask LA/OC Foodie #2: Chocolate / Wine Tastings?

Black Forest Cube at Red White + Bluezz

Bringing back the occasional (ask/stump) the blogger section. Got a food/beverage question for me? Email away! (note: I always ask for permission before blogging the questions, so no worries if you want to keep it private, just let me know when you ask.)

Dear LA/OC Foodie,

So I'm really trying to put together a nice day of culinary related surprises for my friend's birthday. She's a chef and I thought it would be really cool to go to a place that held wine tasting in tandem with chocolate as well. I've seen this has gotten some buzz as of late and am having a bitch of a time trying to track a place down. Any suggestions?!??? I's really appreciate the advice! ~ Susanna L.

Hi there Susanna,

Chocolate (actually, any dessert) and wine pairings are a hard find indeed - but there are a few places worth looking into; Providence and pretty sure Spago offers a dessert tasting menu with wines to match. You can call the restaurant beforehand to see if they can accomodate a "more chocolatey" tasting request. And if you don't mind ordering several desserts a la carte (essentially put together your own tasting), you should be fine in any restaurant with a decent dessert menu and an in-house sommelier to make pairing recommendations.

The only place I am aware of that does a chocolate + wine tasting is Red White & Bluezz in Pasadena, where you can pair a chocolate flight with one of their wine flights. Haven't done that there but from my previous visits the restaurant is pretty solid.

There are also a few chocolate-wine events too (obviously more casual). The Miele Design Center in Beverly Hills will be hosting a Chocolate, Cheese and Wine Tasting event on Oct. 24 ($55) featuring Valrhona chocolates (one of my favorite brands for cooking and snacking, by the way). Interestingly, Valrhona will also be featured in Surfas Market's "After Dark Series" where it will be paired with assorted wines too (it is on Nov. 15, no price announced yet). Finally, there's an upcoming LearnAboutWine.com course on that very topic on Nov. 30 for $60/person in advance. I've been to a few of their classes before and it is very fun and useful.

Hope that helps!

P.S./Update: The Miele Chocolate/Wine Tasting event has been sold out since I first responded to question.



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