Chocolate and wine, two of my favorite foods, plus Boule, one of my favorite pastry shops = one yummy tasting!
Perfectly timed for Valentine’s Day weekend, Boule’s Chocolate and Wine Pairing was a great event that introduced me to some creative new flavors. For the record, I’m addicted to Boule’s macaroons (esp. the rose petal, passion fruit, and gingerbread apple butter ones), so I don’t usually make it over to the chocolate display case. But after this event, I will definitely be sampling the chocolates more often.
Boule is a beautiful little jewel of a pasty shop, decorated in almost-Tiffany blue and brown, with the treats displayed like treasures in long glass cases. This is a place where presentation is just as important as substance, and they seem to achieve both perfectly.
For the tasting, they moved the cases that normally take up the middle of the room and laid everything out on one long table. The tasting consisted of 7 courses, progressing from lighter/fruity flavors to rich and dark. The folks at Boule were kind enough to provide a printout of their pairing notes, which are listed above my comments in italics.
Round 1: Fatale
Wine: Mumm Joyesse Demi-Sec,
This sweet champagne has a nose of candied quince with red fruits on the lingering finish.
Wow, that is one spicy chocolate! About 3 or 4 seconds after the first bite, a strong peppery taste fills your mouth – much spicier than expected, but in a good way. It wakes your mouth up, and fortunately, you have a nice sweet champagne to cool it off.
Round 2: Lilli
Wine: Chateau La Rame Reserve du Chateau, Sainte
This late harvest Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc wine has mango, peach and passion fruit notes and a medium body.
I didn’t think I liked white chocolate until I tried this. The super-fruity passion fruit was the perfect flavor to soften the white chocolate. A delicious and beautiful chocolate, and the wine was nice and fruity to match.
Round 3: Vira
Wine: 2003 Charles Hours “Clos Uroulat,”
The grapes are Gros Mesange and Petite Mesange which is a vibrant mix of peach and apricots, with a star anise finish.
This is where things started to get really interesting. The star anise flavor in the chocolate was distinct and delicious. Then, paired with the wine, it became even more intense. I couldn’t imagine two things that were more perfectly paired – this may have been my favorite course of the evening.
Round 4: Oscura
Wine: 2003 Nigl Eiswein Gruner Veltliner,
Smoky white peaches and pears, but not super sweet, finishing with solid acid.
The smoky flavor in the chocolate was really intense. My husband Brian commented that it was like the smoked sausage of chocolate – I agree! The flavor was so unusual, that it grew on you with every bite. Although the above course was my favorite pairing, this was my favorite single chocolate. And I absolutely love ice wine, and this one was excellent.
Round 5: Dante
Wine: 2003 Alois Kracher Cuvee Beerenauslese,
A late harvest Welschriesling & Chardonnay wine with a nutty note, white peaches and a slight spice.
The chocolate had a nice nutty pistachio flavor and paired nicely with the wine. This was Brian’s favorite chocolate. The wine was very tasty and reminded me a lot of the Aszu dessert wine we had in
Round 6: Bacchus
Wine: 2003 Domaine de la Tour Vielles,
The wine is a fortified Grenache-Syrah with sweet black fruits and a hint of spice.
At this point, I was a little chocolate-d out. I remember the last two chocolates seeming quite similar. Both tasty, both dark and rich flavors.
Round 7: Aster
This port is dark and inky, with deep black fruit notes and a hint of a coffee note.
Wow, I almost didn’t think I would make it! That is a lot of chocolate and sweet wine – and they gave generous pours, about a half glass each. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet, and I was almost full!
Of course, you can’t leave Boule empty handed. The parting gift was a packet of Korova Sable cookies, which are delicious crumbly dark chocolate cookies crusted with coarse granulated sugar.
I also picked up a couple of my favorites: a purse of fleur de sel caramels (which made the latest Saveur 100 list, congrats!), and a big fluffy lemon chiffon marshmallow. The caramels really are to die for… I have been on a salt caramel hunt lately and these are the best I’ve had, followed by the ones in the plywood box at Julienne’s in
Overall, it was a really fun and eye-opening tasting, well worth the $50pp.
420 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA