Trust Wine Chick Annabel Onyango to be unable to eat an actual chocolate bar but be able to guzzle a wine called The Chocolate Block.
Give me the choice between a platter of cheese and a box of luxury chocolates, and I’ll invariably pick the cheese. Brie, camembert, gouda, goat’s, Swiss, stilton, blue, cheddar, anything smoked. I’ll eat cream cheese with a spoon out of the container. Add some apple slices, a handful of figs or grapes, and, of course, a generous glass of wine, and I’m in heaven for as long as there is cheese to cut on that board.
While so many crave sweets, desserts, decadent puddings with cream and custard toppings, I can easily pass on all of it. I just don’t have a sweet tooth. My palate tells me that savoury always wins over sweet. My tea is drunk neat – just the teabag, hold the sugar. Even during hormonal spikes, I’ll reach for a heaping bowl of pasta over any flavour of Haagen-Dazs ice cream. At the end of a big meal out when the waiters coyly begin to suggest the possibility of a final sweet treat, I’m ready to order more of The Goose Sauvignon Blanc (SA) instead. Why not end a good meal with more wine? Dry, not sweet, thanks.
Not even dessert wine appeals to me. Much like my personality, I’m not partial to sweetness.
Unless it’s The Chocolate Block. It’s made by Boekenhoutskloof in Franschhoek in the Western Cape. Unsurprisingly, it’s a dark red wine, with a lot of depth, and according to the books, is best paired with a fat steak. But because I’m vegetarian, I’ll drink it with (wait for it!) cheese. Wine and cheese are a match as seasoned as ice-cream and chocolate sauce. According to the winemaker’s notes, The Chocolate Block is a blend: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Noir, Cinsault, and Viognier, with “bursts of raspberry, allspice and grapefruit”. And that’s where the sweetness comes in – not syrupy sweetness, but fruity goodness.
Trust me to be unable to eat an actual chocolate bar but be able to guzzle a wine called The Chocolate Block. I am the Wine Chick after all. But in truth, the reason I like this wine is because it tastes more like an exotic bitter dark chocolate purchased on a faraway trip than a Mars Bar picked up from the corner store.