Match of the week
Chocolate layer cake and single vineyard rioja
I’ve always been sceptical about the combination of red wine and chocolate but I came across one in Moscow last week that was simply sensational
I was in there to present a talk on food and wine pairing for the annual Spanish Wine Academy Rioja producer Ramon Bilbao organises for the sommeliers there. It was an impressive event with a high turnout - Russian sommeliers are really keen to learn more about wine.
In the evening we had a dinner at a very smart restaurant called Selection where the chef Ramon Bilbao had brought with them, Ignacio Echapresto of Venta Moncalvillo, cooked a five course meal which we matched with a range of contemporary Spanish wines. The red in question was the 2014 vintage of one of Ramon Bilbao’s top wines called Mirto, a beautifully poised, ripe modern rioja that you’d be more inclined to pair with a main course
The dessert, a light but intensely flavoured chocolate cake was sandwiched with ganache and (I think) a touch of red fruit jelly which chimed in beautifully with the Mirto. Generally a wine needs to be sweeter than a dessert to work but this was just perfect.
I still wouldn’t open a red of this quality just to drink with dessert but if you’re drinking a similar wine with the main course you could happily save a sip for a chocolate cake or even a square of dark chocolate.
Disclosure: I was paid by Ramon Bilbao to present the wines (but not asked to write about them.)
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