In mid-February, two FCIA members, Kathy and Terry Wakefield, hosted a wine & chocolate dinner at the Defiance Ridge Vineyard in Defiance, Missouri. The event featured seven courses that contained some form of chocolate—dark chocolate, natural cocoa, dark chocolate microchips, cacao nibs and white chocolate. The array of dishes highlighted chocolate as a savory spice as well as a sweet confection.
Guittard 72% Coucher du Soleil dark chocolate was selected as the foundational chocolate for the event since it provides solid chocolate notes without distracting bitterness. Foodies were obviously excited about pairing great wine, chocolate and food—the 120-person event sold out in less than a week.
Chuck Gillentine, owner of the vineyard, kicked off the evening with an introduction to the wines that would be served during the evening. Then, Chef Chris orchestrated fabulous gastronomic experiences showcasing complex and layered flavors, textures and visual presentations. This inspired several of catathe guests to enthusiastically proclaim that their dining experience was one of the best in their lives.
A surprise eighth course was inserted just prior to the inverted tiramisu—a Terry Wakefield original handmade champagne truffle formulated with a white chocolate center and natural Amoretti champagne extract and infused with Pop Rocks to simulate the bubbly sensation). The experience was a party in your mouth!
As everyone was relishing the synergies of sipping selected wines paired with great dishes, Terry entertained them with stories about the history of chocolate, where chocolate comes from, how chocolate is made, the potential health benefits of chocolate and more.
By the end of the evening, the guests had a superb meal, a great time and learned something in the process.