The Chocolate & Port tasting presented by Marita Lamprecht of Rococo la chocolaterie was a definite highlight of the Calitzdorp Port Festival. Marita traded her corporate life for that of chocolate maker by taking herself off to Belgium to learn her newfound trade and upon her return launched her business in the Little Karoo town of Oudtshoorn.
Does the pairing of chocolate and port work? Most definitely, and primary reasons include the higher sugar and alcohol of port which is balanced with the creamier palate offered by the chocolate. Both the alcohol and chocolate fill the palate and thus compliment each other.
The experience began with a Cape White port from De Krans which was paired with a Lemon Ganache. The port enhanced the zesty, lemony tones of the ganache. Next up was the De Krans Pink Port paired with a Lavender Truffle. The third pairing was of a Calitzdorp Cellar Cape Ruby with a Port wine Ganache, equally balanced and the chocolate on its own worked beautifully. The De Krans Cape Tawny NV paired with the Gianduia was heavenly. The Gianduia is primarily a hazelnut paste and it complimented the maderized, oxidized character of the Tawny. The next offering was a Cape Vintage from Calitzdorp Cellars paired with Rode vruchten / red fruit. A unique product of white chocolate with fresh, zingy red berries that was outstanding with the port. Our final taste was the Espresso Ganache paired with the Vintage Reserve 2006 from De Krans. The chocolate had that true espresso “whack in the head” kick and I felt that it paired better with the Cape Ruby with its fiery, youthful personality.