Have you ever heard the phrase “money doesn’t grow on trees”? If you would have asked the Mayans and the Aztecs back in 250 AD, they would have said, “Yes, it does!” The cocoa bean was their form of currency, and only the upper class could afford to drink their money. What they discovered then is what we still love about chocolate today, Its perceived ability to increase stamina, endurance, mood, romantic arousals … LUST!
Does money buy love, though? Chaucer’s 1382 poem, Parlement of Foules, linked romantic love with St. Valentine. The world would have to wait until 1837, with the reign of Queen Victoria, before chocolate was connected to Cupid’s decadent gifts. The commercialization of chocolate started as machine manufacturing improvements were developed. In 1861, Richard Cadbury pioneered heart shaped boxes. In 1907, Milton Hershey manufactured tear-dropped shaped chocolates “kisses”, so named by the sound of the machine dropping the chocolate on the belt. In the 1920s, Russell Stover sold heart shaped boxes of chocolate all over the Midwest. Chocolate was in the hands of the masses and was no longer the luxury item it once was. So why not give in to your chocolate desires and pair them with the 2017 Michael David Winery Lust Zinfandel from Lodi, California?
It is July, where you might not be thinking about chocolate melting all over your fingers because of the heat. Maybe you just want to reminisce about summer love? Loving that awesome bottle of wine? Coincidentally, that is the focus of this week’s tasting.
Starting with 2020 Evolúció Tokaj Furmint, from Hungary. The label is adorable with two birds sitting together on a tree branch. This dry, crisp wine has flavors of zesty mandarin, grapefruit, lemon, and lime, with scents of honeycomb and jasmine. And what could be sexier than pairing this with your raw oysters and sushi?
Maybe you are attracted to the 2021 Carol Shelton Wild Thing Dry Rendezvous Rosé, from Mendocino County, California to make your heart sing? Groovy! It is going to tease you with 80 percent Zinfandel and 20 percent Carignane. Fun trivia for you: It is the only blush zinfandel allowed to be walked into City Vino. It will get your juices going, with its strawberry-watermelon aromas with spring flowers and fresh citrus zest. It is refreshingly crisp and dry, with flavors of red fruits and candied cherries.
Love can be so powerful that it would cause you to be poured over, because it is just so 2020, the 2020 Thistledown Wines Gorgeous Grenache Old Vine No. 1 Small Batch, from South Australia, Australia. Now, this 100 percent Grenache will get you to stand up and be noticed, as its fragrant bouquet of violets greets your nose, followed by a flurry of red fruits. On the palate, a mix of red and blue fruits, strawberry, red cherry, black plum, blackberry, white pepper. Mid-palate, it has a soft note of vanilla and cedar, with a touch of earth and spices. Tannins are coarse, and when coupled with big fruit, the wine brings a medium-plus body, which is balanced with acidity, and gives pleasant finish.
Watch out for the last one of these wines, because the 2019 The Grateful Palate Southern Belle Precious, from Jumilla, Spain, will just steal your heart away. This one has many layers to explore, starting with aromas of violets, blackberry, blueberry, and black cherry. Working down the flavors, you will experience caramel, burnt sugar, vanilla, fresh organic cream, pepper, and toasty wood aromas that flow to the palate. Secondary and tertiary flavors include chocolate, tobacco, cedar, cola, leather, and smoke. This wine has silky tannins and a full body. It has a gentle power, a precision for richness, and a structure with a beacon of acid that keeps the focus.
Regardless of how much you enjoy the chocolate, we are sure you will truly LUST for these wines! Cheers!