Last summer Total Wine & More came to Santa Fe. I really think that I have a great deal to learn about wine so when I found out that Total Wine had wine classes, we signed up for one.
We went to the Wine and Chocolate Pairing class in the store. There is a comfortable space in the back of the store. See my photo below. The event is 20 dollars per person. If you are a Total Wine loyalty member the event is 10 and if you are a Total Wine Grand Reserve member it is free. The trick is to sign up as soon as you hear about an event by either checking out the website or looking at the sign posted in the front as soon as you enter the door. These classes are very popular. We were also told that if a class is sold out, to call the day of the class and check to see if there is an opening.
I thought wine and chocolate would be interesting because of my lack of pairing knowledge. I do know that traditionally red wine pairs well with chocolate. That is the extent of my wine and chocolate pairing knowledge.
Ok, the person who really knows wine is Denesios(I’m sorry I do not know how to spell his name) the instructor, who gave the class. His knowledge was impressive. To start we are all informed that if need be, Total Wine could call Uber for us. I thought that was a good start. We were going to have 9 tastings of wine, also a good start. There were 4 kinds of Godiva Chocolates: milk, milk chocolate hazelnut, dark chocolate, and dark chocolate vanilla. This was going to be a fun and instructive class. We also received a paper place mat for the pairing event, a booklet to make tasting notes, a list and description of the wines, sherry, port, and champagne. These were very helpful for me as was the presentation about all these products.
We started with a very nice Giuliana Procecco (16.99 single bottle or mix 6 for 15.29) followed by a not too sweet and light Camp Frolr Mascato d’Asti (19.99 s or m6 17.99) paired with Godiva milk chocolate. After that, there was a la Grand’ Vign Rose Coteaux Varoi 2017 (11.99 s or m6 10.49) also paired with Godiva milk chocolate. The next sample was Ancient Roots Dark Red Blend (10.99 s or m6 9.89) paired with Godiva chocolate hazelnut. We liked this wine a lot. It was followed by a Don Betgino Cream Sherry (9.99 s or 8.99 m6) also paired with the milk chocolate hazelnut. This particular beverage wasn’t my style but it paired well with the chocolate. The next tasting wasn’t my style either. It was a Double Black Zinfandel (13.99s or 12.59m6) but it too paired well with the chocolate, which in this case was dark chocolate. We were very impressed with the Quinta das Carvalhas Ruby Rsv Port (16.99s or 15.29m6) that was also paired with the dark chocolate. The River Road Chardonnay RRV Reserve 2017(17.99s or 16.19m6) was the last wine we tasted. This particular wine was paired with a dark chocolate vanilla which was a great pairing but both are not my particular style. We had some Franck Bonvilee Grand Cru Champagne (s 47.99 or 43.19 m6) with the dark chocolate vanilla.
I learned a great deal about what I like and do not like. I thought the pairings were excellent. In many cases, I could taste how the wine enhanced the chocolate or vice versa. We received a 10 dollar coupon, if you bought 50 dollars of wine/port/sherry/champagne. I thought that this was very smart marketing as was the entire polished presentation. You were also able to buy all the sampled Godiva chocolates in one box which was very cool, too. I was impressed and will attend other type of classes like this again.