Tag Archives: Tasting
Book your tickets for a Tutored Chocolate and Wine Tasting with BBC Good Food Magazine's Sarah Jane Evans MW
You may remember that I wrote a blog, about a year ago, all about the fun I had at the ‘Academy of Chocolate’ Awards in London. I had been invited by Sarah Jane Evans MW of BBC Good Food Magazine, to be a judge for the day. It was hard work (no, really) and it opened my eyes to just how much choice there is beyond the usual selection you see every day on the High Street. The results for 'best chocolate' in various categories, are on the Academy of Chocolate website and they really highlight how, like wine, if you delve beyond the big brand names, the best are often the ones made by artisan producers.
Fast-forward a year and we've kept in touch with Sarah Jane. In association with The Chocolate Gourmet of Ludlow and Shrewsbury, we're thrilled to announce that she is visiting us in Shrewsbury to host a rather special tasting! Here's what you need to know:
Who? Sarah Jane Evans MW is the wine writer for BBC Good Food Magazine, co-founder of the Academy of Chocolate and author of 'Chocolate Unwrapped, a tasting guide to the world’s top chocolate bars'.
What? A Tutored Chocolate and Wine Tasting with Sarah Jane. Tickets £25 each.
When? Thursday 31st May 2012 at 7pm (prompt - sorry we lock the doors)
Where? In our Tudor ‘Clive Tanner Room’ at Tanners Wines, 26 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury SY1 1XD
Why? So that you can discover the similarities between chocolate and wine, learn how to taste chocolate like a pro and decide for yourself whether wine and chocolate go together and if so, how they can.
If this is sounding rather appealing then all you need to do is decide who to bring with you! You can book your tickets now either by visiting us at Tanners in Shrewsbury or by telephoning 01743 234455.
(Please note - tickets, as always, are limited with only 36 available and we suspect they might be popular!)
This post was posted in Events, Food and Wine Matching, Tanners Tastings and was tagged with Academy of Chocolate, BBC Good Food Magazine, Chocolate, Chocolate Gourmet, Food, Sarah Jane Evans MW, Shrewsbury, Tanners Wines, Tasting, Wine, Wine tasting
I thought I'd share my experiences of finding a suitable match for chocolate, having been inspired by Sarah Jane Evans.
Customers often ask us, particularly at Easter, what we would suggest they drink with chocolate. Personally I’ve found a good malt whisky, such as the heathery, honeyed Dalwhinnie is a lovely match (Tanners’ own Peaty Creag works well too) but I’m always after new ideas.
When I was reading April’s BBC Good Food magazine last month I noticed that Sarah Jane Evans recommended The King’s Ginger Liqueur with a really good plain, dark bar, so I popped into our Cellars Shop and bought a bottle to give it a try. She was absolutely right, I opened it with some friends at the weekend and it was, as Sarah Jane said, like eating chocolate gingers - a great way to finish off a dinner party.
I got in touch with Sarah Jane to ask if I could pass on her advice in this blog. She must have sensed my enthusiasm for the subject as she invited me to join a team of tasters judging the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London. Luckily for me, I’d already planned to be in town with my sister, to deliver a painting to the BP Portrait Awards and Sarah Jane invited her along too.
The Academy of Chocolate was created in 2005 by five of Britain’s leading chocolate professionals whose aims are much like Tanners’ – to encourage people to enjoy, appreciate and understand the provenance of a well-made product. It has grown considerably over the last few years, hundreds of chocolates are now submitted from all over the world to the Academy’s annual awards and it takes several days to judge them all!
When we arrived, we were handed some guidelines on how to recognise a good chocolate. We learned a lot; for example that cocoa bean and production processes are more important than the cocoa solid percentage - choosing a chocolate because it is 70% cocoa would be like choosing a wine because it’s 14% alcohol. As when wine tasting, we were asked to assess appearance (even colour, no air pockets, not too black), aroma (fragrant but not overpowering, we might detect vanilla, sandalwood, caramel but musty or burnt is a bad sign), mouthfeel (smooth and buttery not grainy, waxy or gluey), flavour (good balance) and finish (lingering, clean aftertaste, definitely no vanilla).
Unlike wine tasting, we were also asked to judge touch, texture and sound - a good chocolate should snap cleanly and sharply, and not splinter or crumble. It should ‘just begin to yield to the warmth of your finger’- doesn’t that sound inviting?
You might guess the opportunity to taste 60 chocolates, like 60 wines, would be enormous fun, but it was also very hard work. It is surprising how difficult it becomes to differentiate between flavours and express preferences when you are on your 53rd piece of chocolate!
As the tasting was ‘blind’ I have no idea which chocolates won. I’m looking forward to finding out and will let you know in a later blog. Until then, here is a good basic rule for matching drink to chocolate: choose something sweet enough and with enough alcohol to hold its own, and stand up to all that gloriously chocolatey richness.
So why not buy a bottle of The King's Ginger Liqueur to go with your Easter Egg this year? It'll last significantly longer than a bottle of wine and it's just £18.95.