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This winter, Leopards Leap Wines and Huguenot Fine Chocolates have joined culinary forces in producing the ultimate winter warmer fantasy, Leopards Leap Shiraz chocolate truffles. Expertly created by Belgian-trained chocolatiers and based in South Africa’s gourmet capital, Franschhoek, these decadent treats bring the international trend of chocolate and wine pairing to local palates.
After thirty years in the industry, award-winning Leopards Leap winemaker, Eugene van Zyl, is excited to explore a new avenue with his wine. “Being both a winemaker and cook, I take great pleasure in pairing my wine with food. Experiencing the interaction between the complex flavours of the wine and the chocolate, and how they play off each, extends the enjoyment of the wine.”
Denver Adonis (pictured above right) and Danver Windvogel, part-owners of Huguenot Fine Chocolates, insist that the reason this particular pairing works so well is that both products are made with natural and not synthetic flavourings.
Says Denver, “When Leopards Leap approached us with the concept and we conducted our own tasting, I was blown away with the results. Although a few wine farms have started experimenting with the concept of pairing, we have gone a step further by incorporating the actual wine into the chocolate.”
While the new wine truffles offer instant gratification, van Zyl encourages experimenting with wine and chocolate varietals.
“After numerous, and very welcome taste tests, we came to the conclusion that chocolate and wines with similar complexities are more suited. Minimising the contrast and balancing the sweetness levels is what ultimately makes a pairing work.”
Now, if the thought of pairing two of life’s greatest pleasures isn’t convincing enough to indulge in a chocolate-wine tête-à-tête, consider the fact that both are rich in antioxidants (resveratrol in wine and flavonoids in chocolate) and therefore, if they’re good for you alone, they must be even better together!
For a culinary sensation, combine Leopards Leap signature reds – available at major liquor retailers and supermarkets – with Huguenot’s elegantly crafted chocolates. Leopards Leap Shiraz Truffles will be available at Huguenot Fine Chocolates in Franschhoek, where they retail for between R2.50 and R3.00 a piece. And watch this spot for white wine variations, come summer.
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