and you should because it is the quintessential, epicurean experience. Carefully paired, it is one sensual, unforgettable happening!

Few things are more rich, decadent and delicious than chocolate and Champagne yet pairing them together is no easy feat. For instance, with the sweetness of chocolate, Champagne appears tart; even the secs and demi-secs they are too delicate to stand up to the cocoa butter mouthfeel of chocolate. Chocolate also has a palatability combination of fat, sweetness and bitterness which also makes it a difficult pairing partner.

One Saturday afternoon in September I met with Author Doreen Pendgracs in Toronto to explore and indulge in a unique pairing of the two.

Doreen is currently traveling the world researching and writing an exciting book on Chocolate, entitled: ‘Chocolatour’. In this book Doreen will indulge in international small chocolate houses. When she learned that I was also working on a book on small Champagne houses, we decided to meet, and compare notes on our passions, publishing ventures, travels, and to pair one cult grower champagne with an unique chocolate find.


The Champagne:

A 1998 Champagne Tarlant Prestige
Extra Brut Champagne
[65% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir]


Champagne Tarlant was handed down from father to son in the art and passion of growing grapes and producing the famous wines since 1687, is situated close to Epernay on the hillside of Marne Valley, Oeuilly. The Tarlant family still perpetuates the tradition, now successfully in the hands of Melanie Tarlant alongside her brother Benoit Tarlant which are the twelfth generation to make Tarlant Champagne.



Champagne Tarlant
21 Rue de la Coopérative, 51480 Oeuilly
# 03 26 58 30 60
champagne@ tarlant.com

Tasting Notes:

Colour: straw with a lively mousse;

Nose: The elegance of this cuvee carries you through the gentle fragrances of ripe pears, roasted nuts and fresh flowers- shows a complex yet delicate nose;

Mouth: The oak has given the wine additional depth in its body; is delicate with a background of fresh almonds, slightly minerally acid backbone, and overall a good and refined style;

After 13 years in the bottle, this 1998 vintage shows perfect balance and extraordinary smoothness.
Anticipated maturity: 2011-2018


The Chocolate:

Chocopologie Bar
Caramel and Hawaiian Sea Salt
Rich 71% Ecuadorian Single Bean Dark Chocolate filled with Burnt Caramel and Hawaiian Sea Salt


CHOCOPOLOGIE, is a European style Bistro and Chocolate café located in Norwalk, CT with full serve light-far incorporating chocolate into every aspect of the experience.

A variety of handmade, award winning artisanal products from truffles, sauces, bars and the classic signature chocolate box are available to purchase.

Customers can watch the pastry chef/baker producing these handmade chocolates and other on-site confections.

Chocopologie Cafe
12 South Main St. Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: 203.854.4754

Tasting Notes:

A wonderful combination of flavors including bursts of dark savory chocolate, gooey luscious burnt caramel and savory Hawaiian sea salt; sensational, sinfully delicious as it melts.

In between our conservations on book proposals, agents, publishers and manuscripts and here are our findings:


A match made in Heaven – Oh, Yes!

Dark chocolate contains the least amount of sugar and has the highest amount of cocoa among all of the chocolate types. It is a rich intense flavour, and when you follow the general rule of thumb of choosing the same strength wine to chocolate, then champagne with “nut” notes should match well with this type of chocolate. The chocolate paired perfectly with this complex yet subtle champagne.

We also discovered the love affair between champagne and salt – a perfect match!

See my tips on matching chocolate with Champagne: @ http://bit.ly/uFBThc

For chocolate lovers follow Doreen Pendgracs @ http://diversionswithdoreen.wordpress.com

Liz Palmer
@champagne House