Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet

Our Red Velvet is made up of grapes from some of the finest vineyards in California. This wine shows a heady nose of chocolate, deep rich blackberries, red fruits, and a creamy mocha finish that is unmistakable in its intensity and length. It’s reminiscent of a blackberry chocolate cupcake with a mocha coulis. Enjoy with a sweet and spicy Hoison steak, a barbeque bacon cheeseburger or even dark chocolate fondue.

The description on the back of the bottle is actually really accurate. I’m not very knowledgeable about wines or writing reviews of things, but I really like this and I think a lot of my followers would too, if you’re into red wine! When I smelled it, I definitely got all of the blackberry notes. That and the fruit are the first things I noticed when I tasted it. The chocolate is subtle but it’s there - I wouldn’t want it to be too overpowering anyways! It’s not very tannic, it’s pretty sweet and fruity as expected. Overall it’s really smooth and rich, and the aftertaste is definitely reminiscent of red velvet. :) I love it! And I believe it was $10.95 so it doesn’t break the bank either.

PAIRING: Wine & Chocolate

Welcome to my blog’s first Pairing!

Last night, my friend Les invited me and a group of completely beautiful people over to relax and unwind after a long day.  There were about ten of us, and among us we created an unusual lineup of cheeses, wines, and chocolates.  There was Peach André, a block of muenster, smoked cheddar, three kinds of dark chocolate, Barefoot Moscato, an unfortunate corked Beaujolais, and even Toblerone.  We had an amazing time together, laughed louder than we should have in an apartment, ate every plate clean, and drank every bottle dry (except for the corked Beaujolais, which none of us could stomach, let alone stand the smell).

The pairing I brought in was the result of a spontaneous decision at the grocery store–intrigued by a bar of Lindt sea salt chocolate, I matched it with a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  First meet the wine (pictured below, with a slightly-out-of-focus-but-still-gorgeous Blake), then meet the chocolate, and see how the pairing turned out!

2010 Cupcake Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Price: $9.99 at Harris Teeter

Sight: Very pale yellow, nearly green

Smell: Zesty lime, citrus with tropical notes

Taste: Tart citrus, crisp acidity, lemon zest

Overall: This wine’s acidity was so high that it was nearly controversial among the group–some (I among them) found it exciting and refreshing, while others found it intense and overbearing.  We enjoyed it at room temperature, keeping the fruity aromas nice and open.  On the palate, it was very tart with prominent lemon and lime zest, some grapefruit, and a little something mineral.  The finish was purely sour, not sweet enough to remind me of sour candy–instead it left my mouth feeling like I had just bitten into a lemon.

Lindt Excellence A Touch of Sea Salt

At the store, I had chosen the chocolate first.  Les, Blake and I set out shopping in search of wine and chocolate, and it just seemed easier to pair wine to food rather than food to wine.  This particular chocolate bar was on sale for about $2 at Harris Teeter, and it was a dark-but-not-extremely-dark chocolate–if I had to guess (I forgot to look) I would say it couldn’t have been over 60%.

Taste: The chocolate itself was a little bitter but still had a sweet, milk-chocolate-esque creaminess.  The sea salt didn’t really kick in until towards the finish, but it came on strong.  I would say the saltiness and the sweetness split the palate in half.  General consensus on the chocolate was that, though surprising, it was super-yummy; none of it survived the evening.


When we finally tried the two together, exactly what I had hoped would happen happened.  The salt of the chocolate and the intense acidity of the wine became friends right away.  The sweet creaminess of the chocolate supported the fruit and then softened everything else, and suddenly the wine with the riotous personality took a chill pill and actually could carry on a conversation.  The sharpness of the wine was tastefully curbed by the chocolate, to the extent that one friend, who grimaced and took an instant dislike to the wine when he had tried it by itself, tried the wine again after a bite of chocolate, and actually found himself enjoying the wine now that it had been taken down a notch.  I was very pleased with the pairing, and the group enjoyed it, so I would say it was a hit!  I would definitely recommend this pairing, especially since you can find both the wine and the chocolate for under $15!

Many thanks to Les, our hostess, and to everyone else who made the evening so memorable.