Medium deep red cherry colour; aromas of dried herb and fruit, with black cherry and spice notes and a hint of vanilla; dry, medium to full bodied, rich, with sweet dried fruit flavours, good balanced acidity and supporting tannins, long finish.
Why it works:
A regional Pairing; Latin American tradition of chocolate and spice enjoyed with Argentinian wine. Also a pairing of multiple contrasts where the heat of chili flakes and sweetness of the chocolate meet vibrant acidity, astringent tannins and sweet spicy fruit flavours in the wine.
Lucie Trépanier on this pairing:
Sean Moher: The first that you sent me is Masi, and maybe you can introduce that wine and just tell us a bit about that.
Lucie Trépanier: Masi is a very large famous producer in the Veneto of Italy, and they are known for very rich styles of wines like Amarone, and their little brother, fruit-driven wine, Valpolicella. They have also decided to start a winery in Argentina using the same Corvina grapes that is used in the Veneto, but blending it with famous Argentinian grape called Malbec.
The resulting wine is a medium, kind of really intense cherry colored wine with dry fruits, fresh fruits, black cherries and spice notes. It is oak, so it has a little of a sweetness, although it is a dry wine. And the reason we chose to pair that with — we try and do a little bit of a regional wine and chocolate pairing by choosing a spicy chili truffle.
Sean Moher: Okay.
Lucie Trépanier: Well, it was a little bit of a non-typical pairing, because essentially when you’re pairing chocolate or any desserts with wine, you’re trying to match a wine with the same sweetness level or a sweetness level a little higher than the chocolate. In this case, it was most successful using a dry wine with a sweeter truffle for people who don’t have a sweet of a palate, and also it was a contrast pairing where the spicy truffle just kind of balanced out with the wine because spiciness was kind of toned down by the fruit-forwardness of the wine. So it was a very interesting pairing actually.
Sean Moher: Yeah, I don’t often think about what would be considered, a pretty dry table wine with chocolate. So it’s pretty daring I’d say.
Lucie Trépanier: Well, it was definitely not one of the mainstream pairings, but I think it was a good lesson learned on regional pairings because often times in any kind of wine and food pairing, you should look for a wine that comes from the same region as the recipe you’re attempting to make.
So in this case, the Latin American tradition of using chocolate and spice in a recipe was just kind of really well-balanced with this Argentinian wine. For example, a lot of recipes in Latin America calls for chocolate, like Mole is a very popular sauce or accompaniment made of cacao nibs and is spiced up.
Sean Moher: Okay.
Lucie Trépanier: This chocolate and wine pairing was essentially the same idea we were trying to replicate.
Sean Moher: That wine, I don’t know if I’m going to pronounce it right. Do you know how to pronounce it?
Lucie Trépanier: Tupungato. Masi Tupungato Passo Doble.
Sean Moher: Passo Doble, okay great. And the LCBO number I have got here is 620880. It’s $13.95 from Argentina. We try that with the Aztec Chili Truffle. So it’s unique. So the next one I see here is the Graham’s 10 Year Old Tawny Port.
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