Desire and Chocolate

A Legacy Made in Chocolate Edited by Lydia Bell and Fiona Sims, published by B Godiva 2016Illustrated London News Limited, © 2016.

Godiva is may favorite chocolate.  When I have Godiva chocolates in the house I worry about gaining weight but I usually don’t because the rest of the family always, and I mean always, beats me to the box of goodies and gobbles them up before I can over indulge.  I know I should hide them, keep them for myself, deny the pleasure to others but that would just be curmudgeonly selfish. I think I can do that.

The art, biography, and history of the Drap family and their boundless love for all things chocolate is contained within the covers of this short, but lavishly illustrated book. The pages of this book bring to life the Belgium family’s chocolate odyssey, beginning in 1926, as they continually generate smiles of gratitude and gastronomic satisfaction for over 90-years.  Laid out in opposing columns of English and French, this album of confectionary delight brings to the reader Godiva’s inspiration, their style, and their passion for making everything chocolate.  Inspiration from the fashion houses of Paris and Brussels. Style from the Belgium arts university, La Cambre and artists of renown such as Oli-B. Passion for chocolate from the leading Chef’s and chocolatiers of Belgium.

This is a visually captivating book bringing to your eyes what Godiva’s chocolates bring to your palate: sensual, divine pleasure.  The book will only take a few leisurely hours of your time, but be forewarned, your desire for Godiva truffles will be magnified a hundred fold.

Tilia Bonarda 2016

W Tilia 2016Bonarda from Mendoza, Argentina

100% bonarda (aka: charbono, corbeau de savoie, or douce noire)

12.5% alcohol

Opened 27 Jan 2018

els: 8.7/10

Wine Advocate: 88

Bodegas Esmeralda, founded by Don Juan Fernandez is named in honor of his only daughter: Esmeralda Fernandez. The winery is located in the city of Junin, approximately 300 miles west of Buenos Aires and almost 800 miles east of Mendoza, producing wines both for the local market and for export. The winery’s Tilia labeled wines, named after the Latin name for the Linden tree, are all produced for the export market.

Tilia’s Bonarda vineyard, El Mirador, is located 50 miles to the southeast of Mendoza, at elevations ranging from 1,950 – 2,150’ above sea level. The vineyard is in a true desert climate, receiving less than 1″ of rain per month and is carefully irrigated with the Andes’ snow melt waters flowing down through the Tunuyan River.  Because of the desert conditions the sun shines 90% of time throughout the year, generating hot days and cool nights, perfect for the Bonarda grape.

The grape, also known as the Charbono in California, is a very commonly planted variety, second only to Malbec, in the Mendoza area.  In the desert climate the grapes produce a medium bodied wine of dark fruit and berry flavors with high acidity and medium tannins.

This wine has a deep purple hue with a cherry red rim. A nose full of plums and black fruit hits you hard upon opening.  A medium to full-bodied, but soft on the palate, wine, with an earthy, herbal flavor. It has a medium finish with vivacious tannins, well-nigh a Merlot in character.

A good everyday red at a good price.  Serve with mild cheese, pasta or pizza. Drink now but it should be good through 2020. Decant and aerate for one hour before drinking.


Pecchenino San Luigi Dogliani Dolcetto 2016

W San Luigi 2016Dolcetto from Dogliani, Piedmont, Italy

100% dolcetto

13.5% alcohol

Opened 11 Dec 2017

els: 9.0/10

Wine Spectator: 91

Wine Advocate: 90

The Pecchenino wine estate has been passed from father to son since the late 18th century. The estate, since the 1970s, has tripled in size and now encompasses approximately 62 acres northeast of the commune of Dogliani, a small town of about 5000 people, which is  less than 40 miles southeast of Turin.  The estate has 70% of its acreage planted in Dolcetto vines with the remaining 30% dedicated to their better known cousins: Barbera, Nebbiolo, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

The Dolcetto, known in area since at least the early 1400s, is a cool weather, dark-skinned grape with high tannin levels but low acidity, necessitating an early consumption since it will not age well in the bottle much beyond 4 or 5 years. This is not catastrophic, actually just the opposite, since the 2016 vintage is a nice wine to drink right now while you wait for the regions Barbera and Nebbiolo wines to age for 3-5 years.

The Pecchenino soils consist of unconsolidated calcareous alluvium, somewhat fertile but lacking in substantial organics. The vines are perched at an altitude of 1275-1400 feet above sea level, with a generally southern exposure.  Temperatures range from the low 80s during the growing season days to the mid 50s at night.  Rain amounts of 1-3 inches per month are typical.  October is the wettest month with up 3.5 inches expected and July is the driest with an average rainfall of a little more than 1 inch.

A brilliant, medium colored red wine with fruity and earthy aromas. Nice tannins and not too dry, producing a pleasant and satisfying finish. Serves well with, and not trying to be cliché, pizza and pasta.

An outstanding wine. Decant and aerate for at least one hour.



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