I’m sharing my wine pairing ideas featuring BROOKSIDE Crunchy Clusters as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #DISCOVERBROOKSIDE
This post is only for people over the legal drinking age. If you're under 21, forward to your parents, an older friend, or bookmark it for your 21st birthday. Please drink responsibly and please, as much fun as you might have trying this pairing, never ever drink and drive.
I love food and wine, who doesn't? Sometimes I think back to when I first began drinking wine...with total embarrassment. I remember ordering a glass of White Zinfandel at a bar and the bartender (who happened to be a friend of mine) rolled his eyes and told me, "The only people who drink White Zinfandel are people who don't know how to drink wine." I laughed it off, but I made a mental note to learn more about wine! That was almost 15 years ago, and since then, I've learned a lot about wine - most importantly, he was right. Drinking White Zinfandel in a bar or restaurant is no better than brown bagging a bottle of Boone's Farm.
So now that I am a grown-up wine drinker, I want to share a little secret with you: red wine is better with smooth dark chocolate.
As you might recall, I went to Napa Valley for the first time last year. It was an amazing trip, full of good food, good times with my girlfriends that I don't get to see very often, and the wine? Of course that was the best part! One of my favorite experiences in Napa Valley was visiting Repris Winery, which was actually more in Sonoma. The wine expert was probably the best I've ever met, the wine was so incredible that I bought three bottles to take home with me, and the views? Almost as breathtaking as the wine itself.
One of my biggest takeaways from that trip was that I actually like zinfandel - the red kind! I've always shied away from Zinfandel, Cabernet and Merlot because I felt that they were too dry. Of course, drinking wine in a winery - as opposed to grabbing a bottle off the shelf at the grocery store without knowing anything about it - opened my eyes to everything that I've been missing all of these years.
Have you ever nibbled on a piece of smooth dark chocolate while sipping a glass of red wine?
It will change your life!
I received a super fun box of BROOKSIDE Crunchy Clusters and the first thing I did was run out and buy a bottle of wine. I've been traveling quite a bit lately and now that I am home, it's time to tackle spring cleaning and my taxes. If that doesn't call for a quiet night of wine and smooth dark chocolate while catching up on my DVR, I don't know what does!
So I did a little research on pairing dark chocolate with wine and what did I find? A very interesting discovery!
If you're a fan of milk chocolate, go ahead and pick up a bottle of sweet wine, like port or madeira. I love dark chocolate myself, so that is mainly what I eat.
When pairing wine with smooth dark chocolate, look for a wine with a fuller body and robust flavors. According to Food.com, Dark chocolate pairs particularly well with Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Merlots, depending on the ratio of cocoa in your chocolate. As BROOKSIDE Crunchy Clusters have a smooth dark chocolate taste and a slightly fruity element, I decided to go with a Zinfandel.
2012 was a great year for California wines! I learned in Napa that there was a horrible fire near the area in 2012, and while the fire didn't actually destroy the vineyards, the smoke absorbed by the grapes led to one of the best harvests they've ever had. Naturally, I picked up a bottle from 2012!
When creating a wine plate to compliment dark chocolate, steer clear of meats. I normally have prosciutto in my wine & cheese plates, but I skipped it and kept it simple so that the wine and BROOKSIDE Crunchy Clusters were the star of the show. As they have crispy multigrains right in each cluster, I skipped the bread and crackers too. I added a little fresh fruit and sharp white cheddar and I had the perfect snack plate for my evening of relaxation!
BROOKSIDE Crunchy Clusters is a delicious blend of crispy multigrains, fruit-flavored centers and smooth dark chocolate. These are so perfect for snacking, having as dessert or creating a fun appetizer platter like I did with my wine pairing. These little crispy multigrains clusters are chocolaty and rich, and I love that while you can definitely taste the fruit, the chocolate is the real star of the show!