After a morning power walk to Great Harvest and a taste of a Raspberry Chocolate Scuffin (heavenly!), I realized I was running out of time – had to shower and eat lunch before 12:20!
Luckily I had leftover fiesta cups to quickly heat up
Along with an amazingly juicy grapefruit!
Unfortunately this was consumed very quickly so I could get out the door to pick up Sara and head over to Thomas Jefferson’s house!
My friend Natasha works at Monticello and gave me a complimentary pair of tickets to a Taste of Chocolate event at the site. Our day had 3 parts: history, cooking and wine. And of course all three involved wine!
History was first and was led by a representative from the historic division of MARS/M&Ms. We learned all about chocolate’s history and production. It goes from fruity beans to fermentation. Then the beans are dried and then finally roasted when you can crack them open and find the nibs inside. The nibs are then ground into cacoa butter and powder which form a paste. Very interesting!
There is a whole line of American Heritage Chocolate that is flavored and spiced like it would have been when people first started consuming cacao beans. The American Heritage line comes in bars, sticks and drinkable mix and it all has a rich dark chocolate flavor with the essence of banana, likely from flavors like anise, red pepper, nutmeg, orange and cinnamon that were used to make it palatable. I found the same flavor to carry through all the forms – drinkable, bar, baked.
The first taste we got was in the form of drinking chocolate, much like Jefferson might have consumed. The spices were very apparent and this was incredible. I had a second mini cup!
Part I was a cooking demo by the head chef of Brookville Restaurant.
He made a chocolate mousse out of the Heritage blend for us and we tasted a brownie and Brookville’s famous Bacon Chocolate Chip cookies just for fun. All three were incredible!
Finally we arrived at the wine tasting!
We were graced with the presence of the famous Gabriele Rausse himself! He gave us a talk on wine and a bit of the history of his story and Jefferson’s. I absolutely loved listening to his Italian accent, and he made some hilarious jokes as well.
Each of the three wines were paired with the MARS Pure Dark line – Sea Salt, Raspberry Acai and Chipotle Cinnamon. All were wonderful, obviously!
The wines paired well – Gabriele Rausse Merlot, White Hall Petit Verdot and the Barboursville Malvavaxia Passito, a dessert wine.
When our chocolate daze concluded, Sara and I walked up to Monticello and back. I love going there – it makes me feel like Cville is so important : )
Afterwards we went to Whole Foods, which was slammed, and stocked up on groceries and Super Bowl foods. And tonight Matt and I are going to a birthday party for our neighbor! Going to have a healthy snack now before I go.
Not that dark chocolate isn’t full of antioxidants though : )