For the first time in over 20 years, my sister, Carol, and I were able to spend an uninterrupted week together. Ever since she and I began our families, all of our visits surrounded holidays, family events, and vacations at our parents home in Northwest Indiana, her home in Pennsylvania, or at my home near Indianapolis. Rarely did we have a chance to just be together, just the two of us, to visit and do the thing we like to do.
Carol’s birthday is in February, so this year I decided to fly to PA for a visit. I’m so glad I did! For her birthday, she treated me to a Wine and Truffle Paring at the Paradocx Vineyard in southern Chester County. (What a great sister!) The business name is a play on words. The winery is owned by two husband and wife teams who are all practicing physicians. I thought the name was pretty clever!
Carol’s daughter, Gayle, came with us, and she drove us over country back roads and through horse country to Paradocx in Landenberg. Because I live in semi-arid Billings, Montana, it was such a nice change of pace to see green rolling hills – it was truly a beautiful scenic country drive.
Paradocx hosted wine and chocolate parings every weekend in February 2013. We were seated at tables in the underground area where the wines are made and stored. There were six wine pairings with six chocolates from Neuchatel Swiss Chocolates in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Neuchatel’s head chocolatier Albert Lauber V was trained in the family business originally in Switzerland. He moved to Pennsylvania in 1982, and Mr. Lauber’s chocolates are legendary.
OK – I’m not an expert in either wine or chocolate, other to say that I love them both. The advice I follow is drink what you like and cook with what you drink. This was my first time at a wine/chocolate pairing, and I have to admit that the wine and chocolate taken together sure do make for a different taste. The sweeter chocolate helped tone down the sharpness of the drier wines. Dessert wine and rich truffles? Opulent. I hope my sister felt very special. She sure made me feel special. This was a unique experience, and for someone looking to do something different, find a wine and chocolate tasting where you live or vacation.
So, what did we have?
- PDX Old Stone Chardonnay 2011 & White and Chocolate Nibs
The chardonnay is aged in American oak and carries aromas of buttery caramel, apple and mandarin
- PDX Leverage 2011 & White Champagne Truffle
Rich ruby red color leads to dark berries, plums and currants
- PDX Syray 2010 & Raspberry Truffle
Floral and fruity, full bodied, well balanced red wine with hints of new leather and licorice
- PDX Traminette & Chocolate Dipped Strawberry
Late harvest creates a golden hue and cornucopia of aroma and flavors – rose, peach, orange peel, chamomile, honey and clove
- PDX Op-port-une & PDX Port Truffle (Our favorite)
Rich style port-style created with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot grapes
The truffle was made from dark chocolate and PDX port