Honest Chocolates Expands Line of Wine-tasting Chocolates

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McMinnville, OR chocolate-maker Honest Chocolates is expanding its line of chocolates to pair with wine. A variety of the wine-tasting chocolates will be available, including cherry-pinot, blueberry-pinot, cranberry-merlot, apricot-cabernet and port-raisin, all made with wine and dark chocolate. The chocolates are available at the store or via the website, http://www.honestchocolates.com.

McMinnville chocolate-maker Honest Chocolates is expanding its line of chocolates to pair with wine. Previously offered as "specials", the wine-tasting chocolates will be available on a regular basis with a rotating selection including cherry-pinot, blueberry-pinot, cranberry-merlot, apricot-cabernet and port-raisin, all made with wine and dark chocolate.

"After we opened our store in McMinnville, local Willamette Valley wineries began to ask for chocolates for their events," explained Honest Chocolates owner Dana Dooley. Her traditional chocolates, though popular, are too sweet for wine, so she developed a special line of chocolates with flavors selected to match the wine being tasted. Most are based on a firm ganache, which is similar to a chocolate truffle but denser, with more chocolate. Dooley adds a wine reduction, which reduces the sweetness, adds a hint of tartness, and increases flavor compatibility between the chocolate and the paired wine. The chocolates themselves have an alcohol level below .5% after the reduction process.

"Although we started making these for special events, people liked them so much we began offering them in the store as 'specials,'" Dooley continued. "Because the flavors are balanced and not overly sweet, many customers enjoy them on their own, as well as with wine. They proved so popular that we decided to expand the line in 2007 and offer more of the ganaches on a regular basis."

For Dooley, the new line is a chance to combine two passions: chocolate and wine. She and her winemaker husband also own a 12-acre vineyard in the Willamette Valley's Yamhill Carlton appellation. "I love making chocolates, but have the most fun trying to find just the right flavors to match a special wine," she said.

Honest Chocolates will be featuring wine-tasting chocolates February 9 at the Chocolate Fantasy event on the Jenkins Estate in Aloha, OR, and March 9-11 at the McMinnville Wine and Food Classic at the Evergreen Museum. A special Valentine Gift Pack of cherry pinot chocolates made with Walnut City Wineworks 2005 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, together with a bottle of the wine, is available through the winery. Wine-tasting as well as traditional chocolates are available at the McMinnville store and from http://www.honestchocolates.com.

Honest Chocolates is located at 313 NE 3rd Street in historic downtown McMinnville, OR, where it shares space with innovative restaurant Orchards Bistro. For more information please contact Dana Dooley at 503-474-9042 or visit http://www.honestchocolates.com.

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