Wine and Chocolate at the Boston Chocolate School

Last night I and a bunch of other Boston bloggers went back to school, Boston Chocolate School, that is, for an Evening of Wine and Chocolate. I almost missed this event, but after seeing Elizabeth the night before, I was able to get on the attendee list, and I am glad I did! After meeting Megan and Daisy for some pre-chocolate drinks and appetizers, we all headed to the College Club of Boston to meet our fellow bloggers who were already mingling in the club’s beautiful downstairs rooms.

College Club of Boston College Club of Boston
College Club of Boston College Club of Boston
College Club of Boston College Club of Boston

While we were all chatting, we were told that two of the bed and breakfast rooms were open and available for us to view. Of course, our camera-wielding group headed upstairs to check them out. The above photos are taken in the upstairs bed and breakfast part of the building. The décor was so interesting, very old Boston with pieces of art and antique furniture just about everywhere. I was excited to attend the event just to get a glimpse inside such a well-kept piece of history.

College Club of Boston

College Club of Boston

cheese platter

After mingling for a little bit over passed bites and cheese, the doors were opened to the “classroom”, an absolutely stunning, grand room with a long table that was set with chocolate and filled wine glasses for all of us. I really hoped to grab a shot of the empty room, but we were ushered in very quickly.

College Club of Boston

Our teachers for the evening were Harry Silverstein, owner and President of Red, White & Bleu, a D.C.-area wine store, and Dorian McCarron, Executive Pastry Chef and Chocolatier.

While they introduced themselves, Harry and Dorian talked about wine tasting and the history of chocolate, respectively.

chocolate tasting

And I got a chance to take it all in, the chocolate and wine at our place settings, the beautiful mouldings and chandeliers. The room was definitely one of the highlights of the evening.

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It was tempting to jump ahead to try some of the chocolate, but we were all good students. Smile

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Harry walked us through the 5 S’s of wine tasting, See, Smell, Swirl, Sip, and Savor.

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And then we did just that with our first wine, 2009 La Serra Moscato D’Asti from the Piedmont in Italy. I had always learned NOT to swirl effervescent wines, so I skipped that step Smile

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With the wine, we learned to also taste the chocolate, starting with a square of white chocolate from Lindt. We looked at the chocolate to inspect its exterior, snapped it in half to hear that nice snap sound, smelled the chocolate, and then placed it on our tongue, allowing it to melt. I learned that the melting point of real chocolate is close to body temperature, so the chocolate should melt cleanly in your mouth. Anything that takes a long time to melt and leaves a coating in your mouth is likely filled with additives. Stay away!

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I personally did not enjoy the first two wines, the Moscato or the 2009 Alasia Brachetto D’Acqui from Tuscany. Both lacked enough acidity for me to find them palatable, especially paired with the sweeter chocolates.

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We worked our way through the wines and chocolates, next tasting the 2009 Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz from South Africa. I’ve seen this wine many times but never purchased it, thinking the label was a little too gimmicky for my tastes, but I enjoyed some of the smoky flavors in this wine. They definitely helped to balance the sweet.

Boston Chocolate School Boston Chocolate School
image Boston Chocolate School

We finished off the evening tasting a 2007 Luc Piret Merlot, a 2007 Cameron Hughes Lot 184 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley (I’ll be there this weekend!!!!), and finally a NV Fonseca Bin 27 Port.

Ultimately, I am a fan of really dark chocolate so the El Rey Apamate, with 73.5% chocolate was my favorite and the Cameron Hughes Lot 184 Cabernet Sauvignon was my favorite wine. I found just about everything else a little too sweet, but I guess I have a strange palate when it comes to sugar!

The evening was a lot of fun, but I felt there may have been a little too much instruction and not enough interaction between class attendees. Or maybe I was just excited to see so many fellow bloggers, and I really wanted to talk!

I would definitely recommend this event to anyone who loves chocolate and who has a very basic knowledge of wine tasting. It would make for a great first or early wine event for someone interested in a guided wine and food pairing.

In addition to Boston Chocolate School, Boston Chocolate Tours offers a variety of other events including tastings, tours, classes, and team building events.

Do you like chocolate? What is your favorite type/brand of chocolate or favorite way to eat chocolate?

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Tags: blogger events, Boston, Boston Chocolate School, chocolate, chocolate tasting, College Club of Boston, events, wine, wine and chocolate, wine tasting

  1. A Boston Food Diary’s avatar

    Honestly-I feel the same way-there are some chocolates that are just too sweet for me- and Im a bit of a chocoholic! It sounds like a really interesting evening though! Great recap!

    Reply

  2. Daisy’s avatar

    I couldn’t finish all the chocolates, but I finished all the wines. The chocolate becomes to sweet and overbearing. I can sip a sweet wine all day anyday. go figure.

    PS I didn’t know you were not supposed to swirl frizante wines. now I feel mis-informed.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      It could be wrong, but that’s what I have learned in the past!

      Reply

    2. Melissa’s avatar

      I couldn’t finish my wine, but I finished my chocolates (and could’ve used more!) Do you think swirling makes a big difference in taste? I can’t tell a difference in a swirled sip and un-swirled sip.

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        Swirling releases the esters which give it the nose. So if you smell a wine before and after a good swirl, you will likely smell a difference. Oxygenating the wine definitely opens it up and brings out the flavors a lot of the time. We have an aerator and do lots of experimenting with pre-and-post aerated wine :)

        Reply

      2. Brian @ A Thought For Food’s avatar

        Looks like you had a fantastic time. I also have very strong feelings about chocolate. I’m very partial to dark chocolate and everything else I have a tough time with.

        Thanks for sharing!

        Reply

      3. betsy’s avatar

        This looks like a fantastic event! I just might need to suggest a team building to my coworkers!

        Reply

      4. Michelle’s avatar

        Great photos of a really fun night! Looking forward tos eeing you tomorrow night too!

        Reply

      5. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

        I’m not a chocolate fan, but I do like white chocolate occasionally. Looks like a fun event and a beautiful space.

        Reply

      6. Megan’s avatar

        This was such a fun class! I actually liked the first two wines but found the others a little too smoky. And I am a dark chocolate girl too… I could even have gone for an 80%!

        Reply

      7. Elizabeth’s avatar

        Your photos of the building are absolutely gorgeous. The decor really was stunning. I’m the un-wino, so I totally loved the first two wines, but I always love my dark chocolate.

        Reply

      8. Allison’s avatar

        My uncle works for cameron hughes out in sonoma! I’ll have to tell him to send me that lot number! I love your blog and reading about all of your foodie/wine adventures :)

        Reply

        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          Thank you for commenting! I am going to Sonoma this weekend, can’t wait! I wish I worked out there :)

          Reply

        2. RavieNomNoms’s avatar

          SO MUCH FUN! I am totally jealous!

          Reply

        3. Erin @ Big Girl Feats’s avatar

          That is awesome! I’m so jealous. Looks like a very chic and exciting event. I’m going to see if there’s a chocolate school of RI ;)

          Reply

        4. The Chocolate Priestess’s avatar

          I wish I had the money to travel and reveal more of these places.

          Reply

          1. traveleatlove’s avatar

            That would be a fun job! :)

            Reply

          2. alicia’s avatar

            Like you, dark chocolates are my favorite. And I like to eat it straight up.

            I really like the trader joes fair-trade dark, and chocolove.

            Reply

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