Monday, April 16, 2012

Trick or Treat? I'll Take Treat!

Orginally Published October 2010

In a matter of a few days children will gleefully take to the sidewalks going door to door, ringing doorbells and singing out “Trick or Treat” as the door opens. The little ones dressed up in their Halloween finery should not be the only ones enjoying treats. This month article features treats for the weary door greeter, the chaperon stewarding along the Trick or Treat-ors on their quest to fill their bags as full as can be or the person looking for a decadent but simple treat.

I selected a Port like dessert wine, Rosso Dolce Chambourcin by Three Fox Vineyards. The vineyard is located on the Fauquier Wine Trail in Delaeplane, VA. The Rosso Dolce’s (sweet red) residual sugar is at 6%, with strong berry/ red fruit and subtle chocolate notes. This wine is a nice alternative to Port as it is Port-like on the palate and finish. One can enjoy this Port-like wine without the high alcohol level of a true Port wine and thus it can be paired with more after dinner desserts.

Chambourcin, a French-American hybrid grape is a relatively newcomer to the world of wine being released in 1963.  Like other French-American hybrids it is quite disease resistant. It is an easy growing grape with consistent high yields; Chambourcin has become a popular grape among Mid-Atlantic growers. It is a deep hued flavorful wine, that can stand well on its own or great in a blend.

1) Dark Chocolate Brownies infused with Rosso Dolce Chambourcin; and

2) Strawberries dipped in a blend of semi-sweet and 60% Cacao chocolate.

Upon pouring the Rosso Dolce, the nose hints of alcohol, do not worry as that belies the true character of this velvety smooth wine. Sipping this wine one is met with notes of black currant and red fruit, notably raspberry. The 6% sugar contributes to the sweet taste and round feel to this wine. The chocolate notes of this wine brought forward the subtle notes of chocolate in the wine. When paired with the chocolate covered strawberries, the berries pulled out the savoriness of the wine. The wine, dark chocolate brownies and chocolate covered strawberries all had the same level of sweetness and thus nothing was overpowered.

 In the making of the brownies, the Rosso Dolce, wine was substituted for the water called for in the recipe. This switch added a depth and nice dimension to the brownies and of course paired well with wine. If I knew how simple it is to make chocolate covered strawberries, I would have started making them a long time ago, the key is good chocolate, plump strawberries (washed and patted dry) and ample space in the refrigerator; that last item can be the hard part.