Indulgence: An Evening of Wine & Chocolate

Indulgence: An Evening of Wine & Chocolate

Note: Two passes to Indulgence: An Evening of Wine & Chocolate were provided to me. If interested, see Vintrospective policy around Ethics, Privacy, Legal here.

I have a soft spot in my heart for wine events that educate and broaden the palate of attendees. And I love it even more when the sponsoring organization makes that event convenient and entertaining as well.

At the recent gathering of Indulgence: An Evening of Wine & Chocolate, sponsored by Whole Foods, Hadley, MA., they just knocked it out of the park on both counts.

On that very cold evening, I can tell you that everyone appreciated arrangements for convenient and free parking. And holding this affair in Springfield’s D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts where individual tasting stations were set up in the museum’s lovely galleries while live music played in the background, lent an air of sophisticated elegance to the event.

img_0511aI tasted the interesting Hardys Whiskers Blake Classic Tawny Port paired with a pretzel dipped in chocolate. The wine’s caramel and vanilla notes were sensational against the pretzel salt and unctuous taste of chocolate. I momentarily search for two words that are relevant here: Wow and Sexy both seem to apply. Taking this wine down another possible pairing road, I imagine a cheese plate that includes some good gorgonzola would be a delicious experience as well.

Ricossa Casorzo 2011, a sparkling red response to Moscato d’Asti, full of carnival candy apple and strawberry flavors, commanded a lot of interest at the tasting station. Sweet, yes, but with the right amount of acidity in balance. Bound to be tasty alongside desserts such as dry cakes, cookies, and of course, chocolate.

img_0514bSpeaker of the evening Don Williams from Whole Foods Market, Hadley, MA., was both informative and entertaining as his presentation touched on topics as far ranging as Vin Santo, the wine blight phylloxera, wine history, Hungarian Tokai, port and sherry. Don also provided good advice on wine buys and encouraged folks to seek him out when at the store.

I was thrilled to hear of Whole Foods Hadley’s “Curious Palate” seminars which, I believe, are held twice monthly and feature 3 whites / 3 reds per session. As Don pointed out, if one were to attend all of them, the seminars would provide the grand opportunity to taste 144 different wines per year!

Bravo, to Whole Foods, Hadley, MA ! And to Don – I will try not to pester you too much when I am in the store 😉

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Joel Mack has worked for a celebrated importer / distributor of Italian wines and continues to study the wines and winemaking of Italy. He has advised many restaurants in making their Italian wine list selections and has provided training to restaurant staff. Today, Joel conducts wine classes and leads specialized private and corporate tastings of Italian wines. Joel carried out his higher education at a highly regarded College of Music and continues to extend an artistic point of view to Italian wine, balanced with factual information about wine, its nature and identity. By day, he applies his time to collaborative software technology. Joel can be contacted at joel at vintrospective dot com.

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