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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cocoa Petes Gourmet Chocolate Pairings (or, Somebody Has to Eat Fine Chocolate and Drink Fine Beers, Wines, Ports, and Sodas for a Living)

A few days ago I posted about the new gourmet-quality chocolates from Cocoa Pete’s of California. Well, the kind folks at Cocoa Pete’s noticed, and founder/owner Pete Slosberg send along his research into gourmet pairings of his chocolates with various beers, wines, ports, and flavors of Jones Soda. Those results are below.

Perhaps a bit of background is appropriate. Pete Slosberg is one of many successful micro-brewmasters who hit the jackpot by selling his product line to a larger company. You may have heard of Pete’s Wicked Ale. Slosberg was not only a good brewmaster, but a good marketer as well. When he sold his brewery, he turned to his second passion, chocolate, and started Cocoa Pete’s. Again he is relying on personal marketing, linking his persona to the brand. It worked well for Pete’s Wicked Ale, no reason why it shouldn’t work again with chocolate, especialy since he seems to be doing a good job of keeping quality high.

The list below represents Pete Slosberg’s recommendations for pairing Cocoa Pete’s chocolates (Maltimus Maximus, Nuts So Serious, Berry Berry Dangerous, and Caramel Knowledge) with various beers, wines, ports, and Jones Sodas. With the exception of the Jones Sodas (based in Seattle), the list is heavy with California products. I guess those of us with a fondness for Northwest microbrews and wines need to take up a collection and get Pete to head north and sample the wares.

I’m glad to see Duvel on the list. It is a Belgian beer I was introduced to in Leuven, Belgium several years ago. It is almost sweet on first taste, then runs true to a fine medium ale on the finish. It was an excellent compliment to lamb late one night with co-workers who were helping me move along from The Netherlands through Belgium and on to France. They really know how to enjoy beer in Belgium. They understand that different varieties of beer require their own shapes of glasses, as with wine. The restaurant/bar I ate at in Leuven had, if I remember correctly, at least nine different styles and shapes of glasses for the beer.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s Pete Slosberg’s list of chocolate pairings, appearing here with his permission.

Chocolate Pairings
By Pete Slosberg

In general:
Dows Trademark Finest Reserve (Port) with Cocoa Pete’s dark chocolates
Hardy's William Blake Tawny (Port) with Cocoa Pete’s milk chocolates

Maltimus Maximus

In general, any good IPA (India Pale Ale)
Pyramid IPA
Anchor Liberty
Russian River ESB
Los Gatos Pilsner
Stoddard's Pale Ale
Hoppy Amber Ale

HMB Brown & Pale Ale
Rock Bottom Pale Ale


Testarossa Bien Nacido Pinot-2001/2002
Columbia 2000 Columbia Valley Merlot
Fetzer Valley Oaks Zinfandel

1999 Hallcrest Syrah
O'Reilly's 2003 Pinot Noir
L. Martini 1999 Ghost Cabernet Sauvignon
Martinelli 2000 Chardonnay
Clos La Chance '02 Chardonnay
Charles Krug Chardonnay

Thomas Fogarty Lexington Pinot



Jones Cream

Nuts So Serious
In general, sweeter style beers
Triple Karmeliet
Petrus Winter
Unibroue La Fin Du Monde
Redstone Black Raspberry Mead

Los Gatos Dopplebock
Stoddard's Scotch Ale
Hoppy Brown Ale

Pyramid Draught Pale Ale
HMB ESB & Light Ale

Rock Bottom Tripel
Het Anker 2003 Gouden Carolus


Testarossa Rosella's Chardonnay
Bonny Doon Viognier
Bonny Doon 2001 Heart of Darkness
Bonterra Vineyards Viognier (Fetzer)
Fetzer Five Rivers Ranch Pinot
Mariah Zinfandel (Fetzer)
Hallcrest Vinotopia
Testarossa 2002 Ferrari Club Syrah
MacMurray Ranch 2001 Pinot Noir
Clos La Chance '02 Merlot
Columbia 2003 Cellarmaster's Riesling
Charles Krug Merlot
Thomas Fogarty Gewertstraminer

Warre's Optima 10 Year Tawny

Jones Chocolate Fudge

Berry Berry Dangerous
In general, amber beer/not bitter
Ommegang Abbey Style
Delerium Tremens

Rochfort 8
Chimay Blue
Los Gatos Hefeweizen
Stoddard's ESB

Hoppy Red Ale
Pyramid Nut Brown Ale

HMB Hefewiezen & ESB
Rock Bottom Brown Ale & Tripel
Bonny Doon Old Telegram
Bonny Doon Cigar Volant
Columbia 2001 Semillon
Bonny Doon Cardinal Zin
Testarossa Gary's Vineyard Pinot
Bonny Doon Franboise
Bonny Doon Muscat Vin De Glacier

Fetzer Reserve Cabernet
2001 Clos de Jeannine-Hallcrest
2001 Hallcrest Reserve Cabernet
Napa Wine Co. 2002 Zinfandel
L. Martini 2000
AlexanderVly Cab.Sauvig
Testarossa 2002 Ferrari Club Pinot

Porter Creek 2000 Timbervine Syrah
Clos La Chance '01 Cabernet

Clos La Chance '02 Pinot
Clos La chance '02 Merlot
Bonterra Carbernet
Bonterra Merlot
Korbel Natural
Charles Krug 2001 Carbernet
Thomas Fogarty Merlot
Thomas Gogarty Rapley Pinot
Beringer Port of Cabernet
Charles Krug Zinfandel Port

Jones Strawberry Lime

Caramel Knowledge
In general, stout or porter
Bison Chocolate Stout
Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout
El Toro Barrel Aged Stout
Toronado's Brother David's Dubble
Los Gatos Sherman Stout
Stoddard's Stout
Hoppy Black Ale

Pyramid Porter
HMB Stout

Rock Bottom Brown Ale
Wye Valley, Dorothy Goodbody Stout

Testarossa Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Pinot
Columbia 1999 Red Willow Syrah
Fetzer Eagle Peak Merlot

Bonny Doon Dry Reisling
Bonny Doon Viognier Doux
Bonny Doon Il Circo Uva di Troia
2002 Trinity Pinot- Hallcrest
L .Martini 2001 Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
Testarossa 2002 Costello Chardonnay
Testarossa 2002 Palazzio Pinot

Dutton-Goldfield 2002 Cherry Ridge Syrah
Clos La Chance '02 Pinot
Valley Oaks Merlot

Korbel Natural
2001 Hallcrest Reserve Cabernet
Jones Green Apple


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