Saturday, July 12, 2014

Enhanced Wine Chocolate Tasting

On Thursday your Chocolate Priestess introduced you to Linda Armes, the woman behind Peacetree Mountain Truffles and as promised today we are looking at some of their creations -- a selection of four of their wine truffles plus one of their balsamic truffles.  I was aided by two Acolytes and for the first time we also used wine in our testing because these chocolate are supposed to be used with wine (a simple Moscato) as well as taste like wine.  We also tested them on clean palates as well so we'll discuss the differences below.

We'll start off today's Saturday Sacrament with the Dark Chocolate Balsamic Truffle infused with an aged Balsamic Vinegar which may make you hesitate when you first think about chocolate and vinegar.  These have a dark color with a reflective golden luster that looks a bit like a football or perhaps a cocoa pod. It has a strong dark chocolate scent but no hint of balsamic.  It makes no sound when we take a bite simply because the top is thick but the rest of the coating is rather thin; the bulks is the ganache inside which is soft, creamy, and smooth.  It has no vinegar flavor but a bit of fruitiness and bitterness when tasted with water.  Then we added the Moscato and wow did it change things -- suddenly a sweetness was brought out that countered the bitterness and enhanced the cocoa and fruitiness.  Excellent for an end of meal treat with white wine.

We'll begin the wine truffle revelations with the Port Wine Truffle made with Brown County Winery's Old Barrel Port.  This looks the same as the previous truffle but with a purplish sheen.  It has a light chocolate scent but makes almost no sound just like the previous piece. The ganache inside is soft, creamy, and smooth.  Our testers varied in their opinions on the flavor -- one felt it was a light chocolate flavor without the bitterness while the other found notes of butter and fruit.  Our testers also varied in terms of their opinions of the Moscato with this truffle -- one really didn't like the combination, felt it clashed while the other tester felt that the wine really brought out the port flavor and would be even better with a red wine.

The next three truffles are all made from wines from Oliver Winery, a winery not far at all from where your Chocolate Priestess lives.  First up is the Oliver Vidal Blanc Wine Truffle. These are almond or cocoa pod shaped with a golden sheen.  It has a solid chocolate aroma.  It makes a soft sound when we take a bite to reveal another soft and smooth ganache center that one tester thought was less creamy.  It has a definite white wine flavor that is fruity that the Moscato enhance with some bitter notes that the wine basically erases.  Very delightful for white wine lovers but gentle enough for anyone.

The Oliver Blackberry Wine Truffle is is identifiable by the purple shine on the top of the ridges.  Only one of us could smell any blackberry before we took a bite but all three of us got a chocolate fragrance.  It makes almost no sound and the inside is very soft and a bit gooey because it made with a white chocolate ganache topped with  blackberry jelly.  The center is very sweet with a strong blackberry flavor with creaminess and just a hint of chocolate from the shell.  Not ideal with Moscato but I'm sure the folks at Peacetree could make a good recommendation.

Finally we turn to the Oliver Catawba Truffle, a fully white chocolate truffle with a pink sheen over the tear or leaf shaped top -- our testers differed on how to describe the shape but you can see it in our photo.  This has a slight cream and sugar scent that turns very sweet when you take a bite. Surprisingly this makes the loudest sound when we take said bite which is not what you expect from white chocolate.  The center is much like the previous truffle but not as soft, it doesn't threaten to spill out.  The jelly is very peach in flavor and slightly sour but the Moscato brings out more of a sugary, cotton candy flavor.  Really for folks who love sweet, sweet, sweet truffles.

Overall we were very pleased with these truffles in terms of flavor and their ability to change in a positive with with the wine; we're sure guidance on the ideal wine would only improve these more.  We also are very happy to see a local chocolate maker turn to other local and state companies to use in her creations.  This type of community building benefits all of us in the area in terms of our economy and the quality of our chocolate. For these reasons, this selection of truffles from Peacetree Mountain Truffles earns a Sacrament Status.

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