Mmmm, Chocolate and Wine Pairing by the Sea.
ACTIVITY: Food Tasting. DIY fresh chocolate and then wine and chocolate pairing.
TYPE: Indoors. No walking.
LOCATION: Era Bis sur Entre 80 y 85 Ave 1, Cozumel 77600, Mexico
WEBSITE: Chocolates Kaokao Factory tour
This wine and chocolate pairing is not done at the actual factory, but at Stingray Beach location right along the shore, about 5 minute taxi ride from the Celebrity / Royal Caribbean / Princess Cruise port. In fact, it’s not a ‘tour’ at all, but a chocolate making session that ends with wine pairings and an amazing hot chocolate. We booked this as part of a cruise tour excursion on the Celebrity Reflection but it’s also available via local bookings as well.
Everyone is gathered in pairs at the tables where chocolate grinders await you. The event starts with a chocolate martini shot which is outstanding. Then we got a 15 minute history lesson on how cacao was found and how chocolate came to be. It was rather interesting, kind of slow, but it is interesting to learn about the trees and where our chocolate actually comes from. Then it came time to make our own chocolate. This is done by hand grinding roasted cacao beans along with some cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. This is fun and does require a little effort to turn the grinder. When you’re all done the chocolate, you put it into a plastic mold to chill while the next part of the event happens, the wine pairing.
We sampled two chocolates with white wine and 5 or 6 chocolates with red wine. It was quite neat the difference in chocolate flavor with and without the wine. I have seen chocolate blocks for sale in wine stores locally but never tried it because it didn’t really sound great. Well now I know, it does work.
At the conclusion of the event, the chocolate you made is given back for you to take home. You can also purchase any of the chocolates you sampled. My favorites were the 60% Cacao, the Aztec spice and the Coffee chocolate. All in all, a fun way to learn about and taste chocolate in a new way.
Now once you get the chocolate home, you can make it into some delicious hot chocolate, but you will have a lot of granules of sugar when you make it. Check out my Whipped Hot Chocolate recipe to take care of that and add an extra lightness to the hot chocolate.
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