Fresh Fall Pastries from Thierry Cafe

Chocolate, pastries, and a coffee on a Fall day.  What could be better?  Thierry Cafe sent me this announcement of their seasonal pastries which look delicious and I’d like to pass along to you.

~~~

FRESH FALL FLAVOURS FROM THIERRY CAFE
– Delectable Delights For Thanksgiving Celebrations and Beyond –

Vancouver, B.C. (September 18th, 2017) – Make your way to Thierry Cafe for a taste of autumn with the release of the season’s most delicious sweets. Chef Thierry Busset has been busy in his kitchen crafting a line-up of artisanal cakes and pastries that sing with seasonal flavours, from caramelized apple to spiced pumpkin.


“My inspiration for our new fall offerings is a combination of personal and guest favourites, remembered from the restaurants I’ve had the pleasure of working in throughout my career,” says Chef Thierry. “Rich, caramel notes with chocolate lashings that are tempered with nutty flavours always speak to me that fall is finally here.”

Choose from a selection of seasonal cakes like the Pistachio Nut Cake that is a composition of pistachio jaconde, ganache, and buttercream studded with a mix of candied nuts. Or for those with an affection for choux pastry, try the famed Paris Brest with its praline and rich hazelnut cream filling. Thierry’s Mont Blanc is a concerto of flavours combining chestnuts, meringue, and fresh whipped cream, and the classic Coconut, Coffee and Chocolate Tart is a flavoursome trifecta. The Seasonal Creme Brulee takes a twist with hints of pumpkin and is a rich, decadent dessert for the serious sweet tooth. All full cakes are traditionally French, with that unmistakable Thierry flair, and are offered in-store from October 1st in multiple sizes ranging from $28.95 to $57.95.

Macaron lovers will be delighted with the fall season’s newest flavours like Bailey’s Hot Chocolate, Pumpkin Buttered Rum, and Spiced Old Fashioned. Silky, smooth, and intense flavourings are the perfect complement to an espresso or steaming cup of hot chocolate enjoyed on the year-round patio. Pick and choose your favourites from $2.50 each.

Thanksgiving celebrations wouldn’t be the same without one of Thierry’s seasonal creations such as his signature Apple Tart from his days with Chef Marco Pierre White, his luscious Chestnut Tart, and his delectable Pear Bourdaloue. Pick up any of these tarts from October 1st onwards and dazzle your guests with a fitting finale to your fall harvest dinner — they  pair well with turkey, too! Choose from a variety of sizes and prices from $24.95 to fit any party size.

Thierry Cafe is located at 1059 Alberni Street and is open from 7 am to midnight on weekdays and 8 am to midnight on weekends and holidays.

Advertisements

A Valentines Day Chocolate Cocktail

Valentine’s Day is just a little over 1 month away.  Have you started to plan how to pamper your significant other.  Of course a nice dinner and cocktails would be appreciated.  But what cocktail to mix?  How about one that uses chocolate?  Here is a recipe I recently recived in my email.  Give it a try and hopefully your evening will be full of romance.

A Valentine’s Day dinner, Iceberg Vodka’s Chocolate Seduction is sure to impress with rich chocolate and coffee highlights in this drink made for two.

Chocolate Seduction Cocktail

Chocolate Seduction cocktailIngredients:
2 oz. Iceberg Vodka
1 oz. coffee liqueur
1 oz. nut liqueur
1 oz. chocolate liqueur
Fine grated bittersweet chocolate

Directions:
Combine Iceberg Vodka and liqueurs in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into two cocktail glasses. Top with chocolate.

Chez Christophe chocolate bear

Tasting Plates Burnaby Heights Edition – A Season to Enjoy

It’s the Christmas holiday season, and you are thinking about what to get friends and family?  Something to eat or drink is always nice.  I attended Tasting Plates Burnaby Heights Edition this past week, courtesy of Vancouver Foodster, and I thought that gifting from these places would be nice.  If you do not know where Burnaby Heights is located, it is centered around Willingdon Avenue and Hastings Street in Burnaby.  Here is a map for you.

What Did I Enjoy?

Well what did I enjoy from each of them?

CAFFE DIVANO

They had a choice of 3 coffees.  I went for the Spanish Latte as I never had it before.  It is a latte that has a bit of condensed milk added to it.  So you have to like sweeter coffee.  With my latte I tried a macaron, a mini croissant, and a chocolate mint cookie.  I really liked the macaroon and the croissant.  There is a wide range of cookies at Caffe Divano to try.

Caffe Divano latin latte with assorted cookies

Caffe Divano latin latte with assorted cookies

CIOFFI’S MEAT MARKET & GOURMET KITCHEN

By the time I reached Cioffi’s I had been to 4 other places and was getting quite full.  They provided us with a plate containing:

  • Penne with a turkey bolognese sauce
  • House made meatball slider
  • Tuscan chicken sausage

All their food was very good.  I in particular I really liked the Tuscan chicken sausage.  It had a nice spice to it and was not dry.  I’d like to try it sliced into a tomato sauce and served over spaghetti.

Cioffi's penne chicken sausage and meatball slider

Cioffi’s penne chicken sausage and meatball slider

CIOFFI’S DELI 

Right next door is Cioffi’s Deli, where you can purchased sliced meats, cheeses, breads, and various Italian groceries.  Their tasting plate included:

  • Crostini with goat cheese and quince jam (V)
  • Prosciutto and bocconcini skewer
  • Mixed olives (V)
Cioffi's Prosciutto skewer olives and crostini

Cioffi’s Prosciutto skewer olives and crostini

STAN’S PIZZA JOINT

Stan’s Pizza Joint was the last stop and by then I was really full, but there was 3 slices of pizza yet to come:

  • A slice of our Cheesy Garlic or Pesto Cheesy Bread (V)
  • 2 different slices from our variety of Specialty Pizza’s being made at time of visit (will also offer a (V) option)
  • A slice of yummy dessert pizza and creamy vanilla dip (V)

When I was there I received the cheesy garlic bread, a BBQ Chicken pizza slice, and a third slice which I think was their Joint Full Load.  The owners seemed quite busy so had no time to chat with them and find out about that third slice.  The BBQ Chicken pizza was quite good.  The pizza has a thicker crust and lots of cheese, so quite filling.

Stans Pizza Joint pizza selection

Stans Pizza Joint pizza selection

GLENBURN SODA FOUNTAIN AND CONFECTIONERY

Do you have a sweet tooth?  If so, this is the place for you.  It is full of dessert items and beverages for you.  I can imagine that it would be super busy and popular in the summer.

We were treated to miniature versions of:

  • Butterscotch Sundaes with Whipped Cream and Spiced Walnuts  (gluten free) (V)
  • Chocolate-Covered Candy Cane or Eggnog Ice Cream Cones (V)
  • Frostbites Cranberry Spice Soda  (non-dairy, gluten free) (V)

I didn’t have the ice cream cone as I was already stuffed, but I did have the sundae and the soda.  The sundae had real ice cream and it was very good, so you will probably see me drop by Glenburn in the summer.  I also liked the decor which reminded me of the TV show “Happy Days”.

Glenburn Soda Fountain caramel ice cream sundae

Glenburn Soda Fountain caramel ice cream sundae

Glenburn Soda Fountain

Glenburn Soda Fountain

POSH PANTRY

Posh Pantry is not a restaurant, but does offer cooking classes at the back of their shop.  The front of the shop has interesting kitchen items, and right now lots of holiday related serving utensils.  Maybe you would like to give someone the gift of a cooking class?  You may want to find out what Posh Pantry has to offer.

The tasting plate consisted of:

  • Braised Beef Short Ribs with Wild Mushrooms
  • Root Vegetable mash

The beef was shredded so looked very similar to pulled pork, and probably would taste really good on a bun and served with a side of coleslaw.  The root vegetable mash was a nice change from mashed potatoes.  I did enjoy this dish.

Beautiful ladies at Posh Pantry preparing plates of Braised Short Ribs and Root Veg Mash

Beautiful ladies at Posh Pantry preparing plates of Braised Short Ribs and Root Veg Mash

YO SUSHI

I saw in the latest Burnaby Now newspaper that Yo Sushi was voted the #1 Japanese sushi restaurant in Burnaby.  And I must concur that their food is very good, as well as the presentation on the plate.  On my plate was:

  • Red Dragon Roll (V)
  • Tuna Tatataki Salad (V)
  • Kamikaze Roll (V)

The Kamikaze Roll (on the left in the picture) had a tempura shrimp and I think crab meat, similar to a California roll.  My favourite was the Tuna Tataki Salad.  The tuna had a slight sear on it, and went very nicely with the salad, and was nice and light compared to all my other dishes this evening.  The Red Dragon roll was also very good.  All their food was very good. FYI, Yo Sushi has a 1 year anniversary discount on food this week.  Here are the details:

On Dec 16(Mon) to 21(Sat) / every day AFTER 5:00 pm

  1. Dec 16 (Monday) : 50% off
  2. Dec 17 (Tuesday) : 40% off
  3. Dec 18 (Wednesday) : 30% off
  4. Dec 19 (Thursday) : 20% off
  5. Dec 20 (Friday) : 10% off
  6. Dec 21 (Saturday) : 10% off
Yo Sushi with 2 sushi and tuna tataki salad

Yo Sushi with 2 sushi and tuna tataki salad

CHEZ CHRISTOPHE

I’ve heard good things about Chez Christophe for a while, so I was eagerly anticipating visiting his shop, and I was not disappointed.  This Chocolaterie and Patisserie has of course wonderful chocolates and pastries to tempt you.  Walking into Chez Christophe you see the selection of goodies in front of you to choose.  It reminded me of being back in France.  Chef Christofe is a very nice, friendly person, who spent time to talk with me, and showed us the back of the shop where he makes all this chocolates and pastries.  They open at 8am on Tuesday to Saturday and close at 6pm.  I hear that their croissants and pan au chocolate sell out quite quickly each morning, so I will show up at 8am one day soon and then have a big cup of coffee at Caffe Divano.

The tasting plate contained:

  • Mini Douceur Canadienne (V)
  • Macaron (V)
  • Cannelle Noisette Truffle featuring our fine Swiss chocolate available exclusively through us! (V)

All three of these were delicious, but I think my favourite was the cannelle noisette truffle. It was light and creamy inside.  I enjoyed the cinnamon and hazelnut flavours, married with the chocolate.  Recommended.

Chez Christophe selection of pastries for sale

Chez Christophe selection of pastries for sale

Chez Christophe macaron truffle and Douceur Canadienne

Chez Christophe macaron truffle and Douceur Canadienne

A few parting photos of me enjoying my coffee at Caffe Divano and the carolers that roamed about for Tasting Plates.  Thanks to Vancouver Foodster for the event and the invite.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Christmas carolers at Cioffis

Christmas carolers at Cioffis

MyWinePal with his latte and cookies at Caffe Divano

MyWinePal with his latte and cookies at Caffe Divano

Enjoy Port and Chocolates with Liberty Wine Merchants

Port and chocolate with Liberty

Liberty Merchant Company proudly presents its 22nd annual Port & Chocolate Tasting. All proceeds from this “Tasting-in-the-Park” event is to benefit the Vancouver Rowing Club’s Amateur Sports Program. To date Liberty has raised $104,428 for this program.
Sweet Ports, decadent chocolates, raffle prizes and excellent company await. Join us on Thursday October 3rd, from 7:30 – 9:30pm at the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park.
Tickets are $29.99 and available at all Liberty Wine Merchants locations.

Port and Chocolate Event with Liberty – Get Your Tickets

I hate to say it, but the cold and rainy weather will soon be upon us.  As such our thoughts move to comfort food and more full bodied wines.  Port and chocolate is a wonderful pairing on those fall/winter season evenings.  Why not try this pairing with the Port & Chocolate event through Liberty Wine Merchants here in Vancouver?  Details are below.  Enjoy!

~~~

Liberty Port and Chocolates

Liberty Port and Chocolates

PORT & CHOCOLATE

Thursday, September 27th, 2012 | 7:30-9:30pm
At the Vancouver Rowing Club in Stanley Park

Tickets $29.99 at all Liberty Wine Merchants Locations

Sweet Ports, decadent chocolates, raffle prizes and excellent company await. Proceeds to benefit Amateur Sports at the VRC.

Liberty Merchant Company proudly presents its 21st annual Port & Chocolate Tasting. All proceeds from this “Tasting-in-the-Park” event is to benefit the Vancouver Rowing Club’s Amateur Sports Program. To date Liberty has raised over $96,000 for this program.

Trying Wellbrook Winery’s Fruit Wines with Dione’s Chocolates

Dione with her chocolates

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 winery peach apricot wine

    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!

Artisan Chocolate and Wine Pairings at Festival of Chocolate

Dione and her chocolates

Lucky me.  This past week I was able to attend an Artisan Chocolate and wine pairing event at Ocean Park Village Pub in White Rock, BC. Dione’s Chocolates supplied the hand-made chocolates for this event.  This event was actually the coming out party for Dione’s company, and she made a great impression on everyone in attendance.

Before we tried the chocolates which were infused with various fruits and spices, we tried the basic chocolate types.  The white chocolate was buttery, creamy, and caramel flavoured.  I don’t normally like white chocolate as the ones I’ve tried are usually very sweet.  This one was not. Just right and melted on your tongue. The milk chocolate (34% cocoa) was smooth, with caramel, chocolate and a hint of bitterness. While the dark chocolate (60% cocoa) was much drier, with grittiness and earthy flavours.  To start we had something called a cocoa nib, which is the base from which chocolates are made.  They look like clumps of dark sugar crystals. Normally they would not have any sweetness but the ones we tried had a tiny bit added. Dark, smoky flavours and some fibre to them.

The Wine and Chocolate Pairings

  • Wine and chocolate pairings

    Jackson Triggs Merlot with a Crescent Park truffle

  • Inniskillin Pinot Noir with a spicy chipotle ganache in a dark chocolate shell
  • Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz with a hand-rolled lemon coconut truffle
  • Beringer Founders Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 with a seasonal pumpkin spice ganache

We started the evening with the Jackson Triggs Merlot (BC) and Crescent Park truffle. The truffle has a creamy caramel center, wrapped in dark chocolate and sprinkled lightly with coarse sea salt.  A really tasty truffle and went nicely with the fruity merlot. Both were soft and creamy together.  The salt also added another level of complexity.  The Jackson Triggs Merlot had nice vanilla, ripe plums and cherry flavours, medium body and soft tannins. <I do think that merlot goes really well with dark chocolates overall.>

Inniskillin Pinot Noir (BC) with the spicy chipotle ganache was next. Typically you would not think a lighter bodied wine like pinot noir can stand up to the spicy heat of a chipotle smoked chile, but it worked in this pairing. The chocolate was sweet and dark with smoky spicy flavour. Dry with a bit of grittiness.  The Pinot Noir had sweet strawberries, raspberries and violet aromas.  Light body, high acid and violet flavour.  I think the spiciness of the chocolate was balanced nicely with the floweriness of the Pinot Noir.  Maybe the high acidity in the wine also helped?

Lindeman’s Bin 50 Shiraz (Australia) with a hand-rolled lemon coconut truffle was our 3rd pairing. The lemony flavour and toasty coconut were quite interesting with the shiraz. The Shiraz was full of blackberries and juicy black fruits, and had a whiff of milk chocolate on the nose.  Full body with more blackberry, plum and black cherry flavours.  Some spiciness and vanilla.  The lemon of the truffle cut through the lushness of the wine giving it an interesting complementary contrast. I also tried this wine with the chipotle ganache and it enhanced the heat of this chocolate.  I think the spiciness of both the wine and the chocolate were additive.

Pumpkin spice ganache chocolates

Our last wine and chocolate pairing was a Beringer Founders Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 (California) with a seasonal pumpkin spice ganache. This chocolate smelled very nice, with the nutmeg and pumpkin aromas.  It was nice and smooth as it melted in your mouth. The Beringer Cabernet was a big wine.  Ripe cassis, oak and vanilla aromas.  Minerality, high acidity and spicy notes on the palate.  Lots of fruit up front and medium tannins. I think you need a big wine to compete with the big flavours of the pumpkin and nutmeg.  I also tried this chocolate with the Shiraz and it was also a good pairing.

If you are in White Rock you may want to visit the Ocean Park Village Pub (weblink).  It was very busy when I was there.

If you want to buy some artisan hand-made chocolates, here is Dione’s Chocolates website. You can also taste her chocolates on Friday, Nov 4 at Wellbrook Winery in Delta, with another wine and chocolate pairing. Enjoy!

Do You Like Chocolates? And Red Wine? Get Tickets

Who doesn’t like chocolate with red wine?  A wonderful pairing.  I like to pair my 70% dark chocolate wafer, or dark chocolate truffle, with a juicy Merlot.  Maybe a Zinfandel with a raspberry flavoured chocolate truffle would be divine too?

Learn about chocolate, and in some wine pairings events, during the Festival of Chocolates.  Here is information that I received recently about upcoming events.  Enjoy!

===

2011 Festival of Chocolate expands across the Lower Mainland

Join the Festival of Chocolates for events held from October 15 through to
November 10, across the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Awesome events to experience!

  • Chef Alessandra Quaglia and Chef Jean-Francis Quaglia expand outside the chocolate box with Chocolate and Salsa – the Dance, not the condiment. On November 2, 2011, at Provence Marinaside, Vancouver. Chefs pair these delicious appetizers with three wines: Cocao and Coffee Braised Shortribs, Cocao Butter & Espelette Seared Scallops and a Duck Confit with a Cocao Nib vinaigrette. Following this, a chef’s demo (and tasting!) of mini pot-du-crème shots. To end, a Salsa Dance Lesson, with Ivan from dance4u.ca.
  • Moving south to White Rock, the Ocean Park Village Pub, and Dione’s Chocolates of Crescent Beach pair up for an evening of fine wines and fabulous chocolates – at only $28 per person for 5 wines, 5 chocolates, and a chocolate infused Village Pub specialty coffee; this is one event that is not to be missed! Dione Costanzo, Dione’s Chocolates, loves the pairing of hand rolled lemon chocolate truffles with a Lindeman’s Shiraz.
  • Moving east to Port Moody, Rubens Chocolate host Chocolate High Teas and Chocolate Fondue – an amazing menu, filled with Belgian Chocolate – and family friendly. The Rubens Chocolate Bistro in Port Moody is delightful, the gelato delicious, and the chocolate fondue delectable. Peter Paul Rubens would be pleased.
  • Moving west to Wellbrook Winery in Delta, wines, chocolates, and chocolate  blueberry infused appetizers are the theme of these events. Chef is pairing lamb, venison, and scallops in the test kitchen. Only $28 per person, another delicious few evenings with chefs, wine, chocolate and chocolate influenced foods.
  • Sinfully The Best Chocolates, in Steveston, is offering complimentary samples every day throughout the Festival. Owner Cathy Cheung says “The Goats cheese and chocolate truffle was inspired by Donahue’s Cheese, Chocolate and Champagne Tasting Seminar in 2010.” The lemon mousse truffle is sinfully luscious. Cathy Cheung, owner, Sinfully The Best, Steveston, says: “The Festival of Chocolate inspired us to create, bake, test, try and finally open our own artisan chocolate shop here in Steveston. We use fresh local fruit, and have regulars popping in every day to taste our newest creations.”

Hundreds of chocolate events and locations over the course of the Fall
Festival of Chocolate – including chocolate spa treatments, chocolate
romance and chocolate pairings galore. Festival Director Dawn Donahue says:
“There are no limits to the use and enjoyment of chocolate – the unsung hero
of the pastry chef, the baker, the home cook, and kids treats – the sinfully
delicious small indulgences that have proven to be a healthy part of
everyday life.”

CTV, in partnership with the Festival of Chocolate, is hosting a contest,
where the prize is an amazing Chocolate Experience. Enter at
http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/contests. The Grand Prize includes:

  •  Chocolate pedicure and manicure for two at Absolute Spa in Vancouver
  • Return flight for two from Vancouver to Victoria with Harbour Air
  • Stay two nights at The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria
  • Chocolate high tea for two The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria
  • Private Beer and Chocolate tasting at Spinnakers Gastronomic Brewpub in Victoria

Festival Director Dawn Donahue says “Bringing chocolate and events to the
forefront of culinary tourism, chocolate lovers, and chocolate producers is
so much fun. Working with our team of interns and students seeking work
experience just makes it that much sweeter.”

For a full listing of chocolate events for 2011 www.festivalofchocolate.ca

Free Valentines Chocolate and Wine Pairing in Kelowna

If you live in the Kelowna area, you may be interested in trying this wine and chocolate pairing event. Two great things on their own, and even better together. Plus it is in time for Valentines! Here is the announcement, by Volcanic Hills Estate Winery. Enjoy!

You are cordially invited to attend our Complimentary Valentines Chocolate and Wine Pairing Event.

Come and sample a wonderful handpicked selection of Roger’s Chocolates paired with our award winning wines.

Date:   Saturday, Feb. 12th, 2011

Time:  11:00 – 5:30 (or until we run out of chocolate!)

Price:  No Charge

Location: Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, 2845 Boucherie, Rd, West Kelowna

No RSVP required.

Valentine’s Day, Aphrodisiacs, and Wine

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. A nice dinner with special wine and food with your significant other i’m sure would be greatly appreciated. But what wine and food to serve?

There are many foods that are purported to be an aphrodisiac:

  • oysters on the half shell,
  • asparagus,
  • cheese, and
  • chocolate.

There are more, but i’ll give you a bit of info on these and some pairings you may want to consider. Oysters are an aphrodisiac due to their shape similar to a woman’s genitals, but also because they contain zinc which which promotes well being. Try pairing oysters with some bubble. You may enjoy:

  • Moreson, Blanc de Blancs Brut Method Cap Classic, South Africa. This is 100% Chardonnay. A very fine bubble. Red apple, citrus, light spice and bready flavour. Long finish. Nice.
  • Cuillier Pere et Fils, Brut Selection Pinot Noir / Chardonnay, France. Fine bubble with green apple and pear aromas. Lemon and pear flavours. This wine was like enjoying a fresh pear. Very tasty!

The asparagus of course visually is a phallic symbol, and visual excitement can be part of being an aphrodisiac. Try pairing it with:

  • Cremaschi Furlotti Pinot Noir from Chile. A wonderful bouquet of violets. Light bodied with some acidity. The floweriness of the Pinot Noir grape is an aphrodisiac in itself.
  • Miguel Torres Cabernet Sauvignon Rose, also from Chile. This one has a bouquet of cherries, which continues on the palate. Some spiciness and a balance of acidity with sweetness.

In European culture, cheese is said by some to resemble the scent of a woman. Italian culture views cheese as an aphrodisiac, much like chocolate. Some cheeses would be a fresh goat cheese, a brie/camembert, and maybe a bit stronger cheese such as a Quebec Oka. Remember that cheese right out of the fridge has little aroma. Leave the cheese out for a few hours so that it warms up and those aphrodisiac aromas can come out. A few wines:

  • Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rose from South Africa. Mulderbosch rose shows some typical cabernet flavours and aromas, but without the big tannins that one get with a red wine.
  • Amayna Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. Citrus and tropical fruit flavours with some oakiness on the bouquet due to barrel fermentation. The wine had a very round mouthfeel with just the right amount of acidity to cut through the fat in the cheese.

Chocolate contains both a sedative, which relaxes and lowers inhibitions, and a stimulant to increase activity and the desire for physical contact. A red wine and/or a dessert red wine would go well here.

  • Buller Old Fine Muscat, Rutherglen, Australia (dessert wine). Medium dark amber-coloured Muscat has aromas of toffee and marmalade. This Muscat has enough body and flavour to balance with the richness of chocolate (and chocolate cake)
  • Poplar Grove Merlot, British Columbia 2005. Light garnet in colour. Cherry, cassis and leather nose. Big cherry flavour with some vanilla. Medium tannin and length.

I find that the roundness and fruitiness of Merlot and it’s softer tannins make it a nice varietal to pair with chocolate. In my opinion 72% cocoa is about the right amount of cocoa for me. When you get into the 90% range, it gets a bit gritty.

I hope you are able to find some inspiration in these suggestions. Enjoy Valentine’s Day!