It was just last week that I went with a friend to attend the Wellbrook Winery Wine and Chocolate tasting. The chocolates were hand-made by artisan chocolate maker Dione Costanzo of Dione’s Chocolates from Crescent Beach, BC. I had not yet been to Wellbrook Winery, but had heard about their wines. They produce a range of fruit wines, with the fruit coming of course from Beautiful BC. It was a rather informal affair, where you walked about and chatted with the other attendees, sipping wine, nibbling chocolates, and finding out each other’s favourite pairings.
Our Wine and Chocolate Pairings
- Kangaroo with fruit compote paired with Wellbrook’s Reserve Blueberry wine. There is dark chocolate mixed in with the fruit, so this is still a wine and chocolate pairing. The kangaroo was quite tender, and went very well with the fruit & chocolate compote. The Reserve Blueberry wine had a bit of smokiness to it, and toned down blueberry flavour. Quite dry, but without the tannins that you would get in a red grape based wine. The fruit in the wine with the compote meshed together well.
- Chicken Mole tart paired with Wellbrook’s Reserve Blueberry wine. The chocolate in this pairing is in the Mexican mole sauce. This tart had a wonderful smoky chipotle flavour and medium spice. I think the consensus amongst the group was that this was the better of the two pairings. The smokiness of the wine and the chipotle made the magic happen.
- Wellbrook’s Rhubarb wine paired with Strawberry Delights, and Gourmet bark white chocolate with BC cranberries. The rhubarb wine was light in body and flavour. I was expecting this wine to have lots of sourness, but was pleasantly surprised that it was not there. On the pairings, half of the people liked the strawberry delights and half liked the white chocolate with BC cranberries. I think the tartness of the cranberries, the creaminess of the white chocolate and the lightness of the rhubarb wine worked well together.
Wellbrook’s Peach Apricot wine paired with Autumn Spice Ganache, and Gourmet bark milk chocolate with crystalized ginger. I really enjoyed this wine. It tasted like dried apricots and had a high level of acidity without making you pucker. It was very fruity and I’d place it as medium bodied. I preferred this wine with the Autumn Spice Ganache. I liked the sweet spices from the chocolate mingling with the stone fruit flavours, plus the acidity from the wine made the chocolate and spice more flavourful. The ginger was ok for me, but it did not have enough ginger flavour for me. I know others mentioned that there was too much ginger for them.
- Wellbrook’s Ice Apple wine paired with Crescent Beach truffle caramel with sea salt, and green apple truffles. The ice apple was not as thick and syrupy as a grape-based ice wine, but it still had more body, apple flavour, and sweetness than I would expect from a dry, apple wine. Everyone really liked this wine with Dione’s Crescent Beach truffle. I think this may be her signature chocolate. It was also a hit at the previous wine and chocolate tasting I did with her. The green apple truffle was a bit too sour for my taste and did not mesh well enough with the ice apple wine.
At this event, we also had their new wine maker, Mr. Laurent Lafuente, to talk about the fruit wines, and his experiences around the world. He even gave us a sip of their newly fermenting cranberry wine. It was quite interesting to taste a wine in mid-ferment.
If you have never been to Wellbrook Winery, they are located at 4626 88th Street, Delta, BC. I have been told that they have lots of fun tastings and food events during the winter and summer. Try to get on their email list. And don’t forget Dione’s Chocolates. Probably both are good presents to grown-up friends and family. Enjoy!