Paring: Dark Chocolate & Cabernet Merlot

June is the official start of summer, it's time to go to the beach, enjoy the outdoors and visit wineries. If you live near a wine region you know how much fun wine tours are. I mean who doesn't enjoy sampling wine for an afternoon? What makes sampling wine all afternoon more enjoyable is paring it with delicious fine artisanal crafted chocolate. 

Fine artisanal crafted chocolate should be experienced with other fine foods. No matter what the pairing is, it brings a whole new appreciation for the two foods with new tastes, textures, flavors, and notes you didn't experience eating them separately, oh ya it's also delicious and fun to do so. 

This is why every month we make a suggested pairing with the delicious chocolates you receive in your monthly Kekao subscription. This months pairing is Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat's 100% Bar and Cabernet Merlot from Oxley Winery.

Oxley Winery

Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat

Marou was one of the first bean to bar makers in Asia and one of few makers in the world to make their chocolate tree to bar. When Vincent Mourou left his advertising career in San Francisco, he moved to Vietnam to find himself. This is when Vincent met Samuel Maruta a banker from France living in Saigon with his wife and two kids. One day during a camping trip the two googled "cacao plantation" and headed towards a farm in Ba Ria Province with no address. On the way back to Saigon, the two decided to start Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat. The two had nothing but a blender, an oven, cake tins, and Sam's kitchen. Samuel and Vincent continue to work with a tight network of small farmers who they buy the best quality beans from. The cacao in Marou chocolate is roasted slow and low so you can truly taste their work and terroir of each provincial origin. Marou has become a leading brand for pure dark chocolate, entirely made from Vietnamese cacao. 

Marou Chocolate 100%

This bar is made from a blend of cacao beans coming from a variety of provinces in Southern Vietnam. Most of Marou's bars are single estate making this bar a unique treasure. This 100% Marou Chocolate is full-bodied with spice and juicy red berries, and its high cacao butter content makes for a very creamy and mellow experience.  

Taste notes: Earthy, woody, spice, and fruitiness. 

Marou Chocolate 100% Dark Chocolate Bar

Oxley Winery

Oxley Estate Winery is located on 38 acres, south of the 42nd parallel (as is southern Italy, central Spain and many of the California regions), in the beautiful and historic Oxley Hamlet, on Southern Ontario's Lake Erie North Shore wine route. The region is one of the most popular Canadian wine regions due to long sunny days, light lake breezes and rich sandy loam soil.

Oxley grows Riesling, Chardonnay, Auxerrois, Bianca, Hibernal, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet  Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Regent, the German wunderkind,  – a fruity, light-bodied red. 

If you ever have a chance to visit the estate you must, it features an intimate wine shop with an excellent restaurant. It is great for events and casual gatherings. Their estate features a large Wine Garden patio perfect for leisure.

 Oxley Wine Garden

Cabernet Merlot

Oxley's Cabernet Merlot color illuminates intense hues of cherrywood and dark plum. The nose features dried rose petal, orchid and lavender aromas open up to a spiciness reminding us of clove and thyme. Then blueberry and raspberry tones of Merlot merge seamlessly with fennel, black pepper, and olive notes.

Merlot Oxley Winery

Where to buy?

You can buy Oxley wine directly from their online store.  

Dark Chocolate & Cabernet Merlot

While pairing Marou Chocolate's 100% Bar, we visited the Oxley Estate for full effect. The scenic garden patio is a sight for sore eyes and provides an element of escape, I always have the feeling of being in the Italian region of Lazio. I think the environment of a pairing can do wonders to how you taste the two foods.

Oxley Winery and Marou Chocolate 

I started this pairing how I start all my pairings, separately. This allows me to experience the full flavor and aromas of both items, and a chance to cleanse the palate before mixing. Although, it was much harder this time due to both the 100% dark chocolate bar and Cabernet Merlot being full bodied. 

After trying each item separately, I took a bite of Marou's 100% Dark Chocolate bar, and let it melt on the tongue, swirling it on the tip of my mouth until I didn't taste any more solid chunks of chocolate, I then proceeded to sip on the Cabernet Merlot by Oxley. After mingling the two in my mouth, I had felt the wine really brought out the spice and fruitiness of the bar. It was very hard to cleanse the palate after pairing the two due to the heaviness of both, so prepare yourself for lingering taste. 

Marou Chocolate Dark Chocolate Pairing

Are you ready to experience delicious specialty crafted dark chocolate bars? Kekao Box is how you start! We search the world for the finest dark chocolate bars and bring them right to your doorstep monthly. From rich dark Peruvian chocolate bars to new start-up chocolate bars on the come up, you never know what you get inside the box! Each month we will curate 3 to 5 premium specialty crafted dark chocolate bars. Too much chocolate? You can pause at any time or buy your favorite bars individually

Once you subscribe or buy your favorite chocolate bar, why not enjoy your delicious specialty crafted dark chocolate bars with Wine from Oxley Winery, their wines are amazing!

If you have any questions regarding this blog, our Kekao Box or premium specialty craft dark chocolate bars, feel free to contact us! Keep up with us by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.