At the event we got to taste 5 dessert wines, paired with 5 chocolate-inspired desserts by Gourmet Baker. John Gerum from West Coast Wine Education led the event and started off by explaining the dessert wine production and how to pair chocolate with wine & liquer.
Wine & Dessert Pairing
Move onto the tasting. Here is what we tried that evening:
Quady Essensia & Turtle Cheesecake
Luscious caramel cheesecake topped with toasted pecans, rich caramel and bittersweet chocolate chips sitting on a chocolate cookie crust.
(Note: The Essensia reminded me of Late Harvest wine, which is one of my favourite dessert wines. It’s a lot sweeter on its own but a bite of Turtle Cheesecake took the sweetness away and it became just right.)
Framboise from Elephant Island Orchard Wines & Brownie Obsession
A decadent fudge brownie based topped with rich fudge, sweet cream, brownie chunks and caramel.
(Note: I didn’t really mind the Framboise but it’s definitely not my favourite. And I didn’t appreciate the tiny bits of residue at the bottom of my glass. If you like raspberries, you’ll love this one.)
Cowichan Black from Averill Creek Winery & Satin Bar
Three layers of marbled sponge cake with alternating layers of luscious, smooth dark chocolate mousse and rich cream cheese mousse. Enrobed with a heavenly dark chocolate ganache and white drizzle.
(Note: Also a fruit wine, the Cowichan Black has a fuller body and less tart than the Framboise. It’s smooth but I could taste a bit of spice in it.
Quady Elysium & Brownie Bomshell
Two layer treasure made of fudgey sponge cake walnut brownie and chocolate sponge cake is completely enrobed in sweet whipped cream. Topped with chunks of walnut brownie and drizzled with ribbons of chocolate fudge icing and creamy caramel.
(Note: I can definitely taste the lychee flavour in the Elysium as described by the wine maker. It’s light and sweet)
Vinsera from Saturna Island Vineyards & Caramel Rage
Smooth coconut filling sitting on top of a shortbread base, topped with raging lines of white and dark chocolate and caramel.
(Note: Vinsera wasn’t originally on the wine list. John picked out a Port for the Caramel Rage but after tasting it, he didn’t think they matched well so he replaced it with this “back-up” Port-style wine. Not a fan – my least favourite of the evening.)
I was quite happy with the quality of the wines. I like how the desserts helped heighten some of the flavour profile. Of the 5 wines we tasted, I like the Essensia, Cowichan Black and Elysium. The desserts were not bad, but perhaps they’d been on transit the change of temperature changed the texture of the cakes. Namely the sponge cake layers (of a number of desserts) were a bit hard.
Of course, the event organizer didn’t think we’d be satisfied with only 5 kinds of desserts. Before we headed out we were treated to two more cakes and coffee on the side. Mmmmm I was in sweet heaven…=)
At the end of the event, James from Bella Gelateria gave closing remarks, along with a teaser that he’ll be making sorbetto out of some of the dessert wines we tasted at this event. Those were my favourite wines of the evening so I look forward to them.
In closing, check out other pictures taken at the event, including the wine labels if you are interested in buying any of them: