…and wine. Okay, I don’t really love wine. I can appreciate it’s complexity and cultural importance, but I’m not a wine lover. But I do love chocolate.
So when I was invited to #AnEveningAtGayles with Gayle’s Chocolates and Elie Wine Company, you know I went.
When you walk into Gayle’s you’re greeted by an amazing array of things made from chocolate. And not just made from chocolate, but chocolate without fillers. You won’t find corn syrup in Gayle’s creations. Just good ol’ smooth cocoa butter. And what’s even better, they are made right upstairs! You’d never know walking through the thriving area of Royal Oak that just above the cute little shops lies a heaven where intricate chocolate goodies are made.
After getting to browse around the shop, we got to hear Gayle’s story. From simply wanting a bite of delicious, pure chocolate and making her own, to running a business out of her home and eventually building a thriving business. Her story speaks to the heart of every female entrepreneur I know. And again, I mean, it’s chocolate we’re talking about here, folks!
Then we listen to Elie talk about wine. I thought that growing up in a family that loves wine and in winery country in Missouri, I probably knew quite a bit. I didn’t. I mean, who knew that cabernet and pinot aren’t actually types of wine? And how important the age of wines and altitude were. And all about the different things that make up how you “taste” wine…it’s heat, weight, bitterness…so many things! Even while I don’t taste much around the alcholoiness (yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not really a word), with his guidance, I was actually able to feel some of the differences in the five vintages he brought us to taste. But I’ll admit I was hopelessly lost as others compared the tastes with the different types of chocolate.
The sweetest was when Elie told us about the wine that they lovingly chose all the puzzle pieces for, the very vineyards and types of grapes down to how it was made and packaged. As he told us this story, you could see just how much it meant to him…all the way to the part where he pulled it from the bag and told us it was named after his six-year-old daughter and she had designed the label.
Heart-melting, I tell ya!
Now, the chocolates. Yum. Chris from Gayle’s talked to us about quality and how to tell good quality chocolates from lesser. We had four chocolate options to taste with the wine, ranging from milk chocolate to 72% cocoa. Plus the fifth choice of 72% with fruit. I had never tasted dark chocolate with freeze-dried fruit. It’s most definitely a different experience than the normal chewy fruits you get with chocolate. The crunchiness with the smoothness of the chocolate was absolutely delightful.
Remember folks, melt the chocolate in your mouth, don’t chew it in a hurry or you’ll miss all the flavors!
At the end of the night I couldn’t help but buy one of the amazing chocolate shoes which Chris had very carefully shipped the next week to my mother-in-law in Missouri.
And my husband was extremely thrilled with the goodies I brought home, including the cutest little dark-chocolate Easter bunny and the BEST truffles that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. And if you’ve never tasted the combination that is pistachios with chocolate and pears, you, my friend, have not lived.
I’m looking forward to dragging hubby up that way for a date one week. I did not get to try their amazing organic coffees and I suspect that their hot cocoa is one to dream about. And well, this mama needs more chocolate!
Lucky for you, Gayle’s is giving one of you fantastic readers your own 2.5 pound chocolate bunny! Your choice of milk or dark chocolate. But you have to hop on this FAST so that they can send it to you in time for Easter!
To enter to win, simply comment below and tell me your favorite way to eat chocolate!
Fine print: Contest ends at Midnight PST TONIGHT March 24, 2015. US mailing addresses only, NO PO boxes.
Winner must confirm address and choice of milk or dark chocolate by Noon PST 3/25/15.
Only one entry per person. Winner will be chosen via Random.org.