So you love wine and you love chocolate.
But does that mean you will love chocolate wine?
Andrew Browne, CEO of Washington state based-Precept Wine, is hoping so.
Cream-based chocolate wines and liqueurs have been around for a while, but Browne wanted something different so he challenged his team to come up with a creamless chocolate wine.
And in February 2011 Chocolate Shop wine was introduced. It’s a Bordeaux blend from California, mixed with sugar and, well, chocolate.
It sounds bizarre but seems to have caught on. In 2011, 1.2 million bottles were sold almost entirely in the US retail market.
"We thought the market would be female and young, but we've found that it has much broader appeal," said Andrew Browne, founder of the product, citing demand from men and women, as well as older and experienced wine drinkers.
Precept Wine is the largest privately-owned wine company in the Northwest and primarily sells wines from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. But right now, Chocolate Shop red wine is their best seller, according to Browne.
I'm sure the wine purists out there are getting the sugar-shakes just thinking about this. But c’mon, just taste it, and let me know.
What is your death row wine?
St. Urbans Hof Riesling Beerenauslese 2010 from the Mosel area. Just 20 cases made, and received 95 points in Spectator.
What region produces the best wine?
Washington--the NW, of course--our vineyards are world class! Old World style with New World fruit, right on the same latitude as Europe’s finest.
The Mosel for Old World wines.
What is the best wine and food pairing you’ve ever had?
Shingleback 2006 D Block Reserve Shiraz with char-grilled Portobello mushrooms. Umami-licious.
What will the U.S. wine industry look like in 10 years?
- There has been a trajectory of more David and Goliath in terms of producers, and less middle ground. This disparity will continue to widen.
- Wine superstores are becoming more relevant than ever before. They will continue to proliferate.
- Private label and custom production will grow as retailers want to capture market share of the wine drinking audience (the same will apply to spirits).