Chocolate wine

 Michelin-starred techno-chef Heston Blumenthal OBE has won a Conde Nast Traveller Innovation Design Award for his chocolate wine.

Blumenthal was nominated for the gourmet category of the awards, and praised for ‘splicing grapes with cocoa beans’ at the awards ceremony held earlier this week.

The wine, served as a dessert, is made by reducing a bottle of fortified, sweet red Maury wine from southwest France, and blending it with milk and chocolate shavings.

Blumenthal, who Sunday Times restaurant critic AA Gill once called ‘ a combination of Jackass dadaist, Freudian analyst and Frankenstein’, is widely known for his unusual dishes.

Favourites at his Fat Duck restaurant in Bray, Berkshire, include snail porridge, salmon poached in liquorice gel, and sardine-on-toast sorbet. The restaurant currently holds three Michelin stars.

In the gourmet category, Blumenthal narrowly beat ‘astonishing’ tapas bar Arola, in Madrid, Spain, renowned for its ‘deconstructed’ tapas.

Other nominees included PlumpJack winery in Napa Valley, which uses solar energy to help power its buildings, and Alain Ducasse’s new restaurant Adour in New York, where guests order bottles of wine via an interactive wine list.

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