Category Archives: Dessert Wines

Red Vin 2009 – Rheinhessen, Germany

Europa Choco Vine – Holland

Choco Vine

When I first saw this on the shelves of my local grocery store I thought ‘How can mixing chocolate and red wine taste good?’

Now I admit to loving the experience of a great piece of chocolate while I am sipping a glass of red wine but I’ve never actually thought of combining the two in liquid form and it didn’t seem like something I’d like to try. However when my mom called and asked me if I’d tried Choco Vine and then stated that it was really good, I had to buy some.

I didn’t expect it to taste so good though. You see, since having my first chocolate martini at a Les Paul performance in New York City years ago I have been a big fan of the taste and Choco Vine, to me, tastes almost exactly like a chocolate martini.

My mom, however, describes it as ‘chocolate milk with a really good kick’ and she’s not joking. This dessert wine has a really good kick. A glass and a half will have you with a pretty good buzz going on so it’s not really something you would have multiple glasses of in one sitting.

This wonderful invention is brought to us by the lovely people of Holland and is a combination of chocolate and fine red wine (as the label says). Over all it’s a really nice dessert wine for chocolate lovers. It is very heavy and therefore not something that you would drink a lot of at any one time. The good news is that it keeps for up to six months in the refrigerator after it’s been opened so there’s no pressure to drink it fast.

My rating is a 96. I enjoy a small glass of this wine from time to time usually over ice. It also comes in a chocolate/raspberry wine combo too. I haven’t had that one yet though.

Interesting Wine Facts: Fact #3 – Determining the Body of a Wine is as Easy as Drinking Milk

At my recent visit to Total Wine an More’s ‘Wine 101’ class I learned a very easy way to determine what the body of a wine is. Up until taking that class determining the ‘body’ of a wine was a distant concept to me. I knew that they were talking about the ‘heaviness’ of the wine but still couldn’t figure out how everybody was coming to their conclusions so  easily and with conviction.

Well I now know that it is really easy to make this determination using something that most people have a daily experience with – drinking milk! Now I haven’t had a glass a milk in over 20 years but I am no stranger to the differences in consistency when it comes to dairy products. It was something that I wholeheartedly participated in prior to that 20 years.

Most people will agree that when drinking milk there is a distinct difference in consistency when it comes to skim milk, 2% milk, and whole milk. Skim milk, to most, has the weight and consistency of drinking a glass of water. 2% milk is slightly heavier/thicker and whole milk is the heaviest/thickest in the mouth. Knowing this simple fact is the key to determining the ‘body’ of the wine you’re drinking.

‘Light Bodied Wines’ are those that when you take a sip and move it around your mouth has the consistency and thickness of water or skim milk. It’s very ‘light’ on the tongue.

‘Medium bodied Wines’ are those that when  you take a sip and move it around your mouth has a slightly heavier weight and thickness. They are the equivalent of drinking 2% milk.

‘Heavy bodied Wines’ are those that are thick and…well…heavy on the tongue. They are reminiscent of drinking whole milk or even heavy cream. They loom large in your mouth as far as thickness is concerned.

Now that I’ve learned this little comparison trick it’s been easy for me to identify the body of every wine I’ve been drinking with little or no need for second thought. It’s an immediate ‘knowing’ now which frees me up to figure out more about the complexities of the wine like the bouquet and aromas that want to be identified.

I also want to add that a wine can fall between those categories of ‘light, medium, and heavy bodied’ too. Like anything else there’s a scale where something can be mostly light bodied but bordering on medium and thus you might say that that particular wine is a light to medium bodied wine or a medium to heavy bodied wine.

Nothing is absolute. It doesn’t have to fall neatly into just one category. Just like a person can be primarily an introvert but with some extrovert qualities a wine can absolutely do the same thing. It’s a living and breathing thing just like you and I are and even though a particular wine may be described as a medium bodied wine it can still have some slight variations too.

So now armed with this new knowledge (I am assuming it’s new to you too…if not then forgive my assumptions here) I challenge you to get out there and start to get to know the body of your wines. Feel them, touch them, get to know them! 🙂