Monday, February 16, 2009

Bouquet of Fruits Vinyeard - Wine Filled Chocolates

Wine Filled ChocolateThis week I’m going to try out the theme of “drinks & candy.”

I actually ordered this set of four boxes of Wine Filled Chocolates made by Bouquet of Fruits Vineyard from Wine Woot! I’ve seen them for sale before, way back around Christmas 2007.

I was a little grumbly because it took so long for them to arrive. I ordered them at the end of January, and though they said that they’d arrive by Valentines, I assumed they’d be shipped out within five days or so (like other items I’d ordered from Woot!). Instead they arrived on Thursday last week. My hope is that they were being made to order, so they’d be extra fresh.

The set is four boxes of 9 pieces each, 4.5 ounces. The flavor array is Champagne (Pink), Chardonnay (Brown), Cabernet (Magenta) & Port (Black). Each little sphere or chocolate is advertised to be filled with wine. All for $29.99 plus $5 delivery.

Wine Filled Chocolate - ChampagneChampagne

The boxes are rather large for the amount of chocolate inside, however, since these are liquid filled, a bit of cushion is a good thing. Each chocolate is in a fluted cup, inside a slot in a plastic tray. The sides of the box have a bit of space around them and the whole thing is topped off with one of those cushioned waxed paper pieces. It’s all sealed in shrinkwrap, then a ribbon.

The ingredients are admirable. Chocolate, wine and vanilla. This really didn’t make sense to me, because the wine in the center always seemed very sweet & syrupy ... but I guess that’s the magic of wine filled chocolate.

The chocolate look rustic & hand rolled.

Wine Filled Chocolate

The chocolate shell is very sweet and melts readily, not quite oily but quite soft… but then there’s another shell underneath, a perfectly formed sphere that seems to have a seam. Aha!

That shell doesn’t taste quite the same as the outer shell, maybe a little darker.

Inside though is a syrup of white wine. I wouldn’t call it champagne, as I would assume that it’s not true champagne (from France) and it has no bubbles. It’s a sweet mixture, a lot like a dessert wine. Not quite to my liking, but I ate a few of them.

Wine Filled Chocolates - ChardonnayChardonnay

Chardonnay is a rather varied white wine that can be bold or delicate and it can be pretty confusing because it’s such a common wine but can take on so many different profiles.

Let me just say before I go too much further that I am an excellent wine taster, but I don’t consider myself a wine aficionado. I can enjoy it and drink it several times a week but if I never had it again, I don’t think I’d miss it much. (On the whole I prefer spirits with botanicals or aromatic elements like Gin, Ouzo or Pastis, though again, I don’t really drink that often but when I do, that’s where I go.) So if you want to add to the info here that I’ve mentioned about each of these wines, feel free.

The Chardonnay filled Chocolates were the only white chocolate over the bunch, which was over the functional milk chocolate shell. The ingredients on these were wrong, it made no mention of the white chocolate, which caused me to doubt the accuracy of all of them. (I also started to suspect that perhaps the sugar from the chocolate shell leaches in, to form this syrup.)

Chardonnay Wine Filled Chocolate

These smelled quite milky and a little yeasty (in a good way). The wine center was tangy and fresh tasting like grapes - not quite snappy though.

Wine Filled Chocolate - CabernetCabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon, as a red wine, has a lot tannins in it. So it can be quite striking and sometimes bitter, tart or dry (or all three) and takes on some wonderful oak & tobacco flavors. However, a lot of the bitterness of the tannins can be mellowed by fats when pairing with meals. So pairing it with a good dark chocolate actually makes a lot of sense.

As I went along in this process, I learned that the big charge here is either biting into the sphere and getting a burst of light, wine flavor or letting the whole thing melt until it’s an oozy puddle.

After a few of these I was starting to feel a bit full though (so I did this review over three sessions). I was comforted to see that each piece is about 107 calories - about 110 calories per ounce, which is much lower than most other boxed chocolates.

Wine Filled Chocolate - Cabernet

I was letting the chocolate melt for my tastings of the Cab, there was a definite “butter” taste for the Cabernet. The wine center was fruity but lacking a sort of dry bite that red wine offers when paired with chocolate. Of the three so far, this was definitely winning out.

Wine Filled Chocolate - PortPort

Port is a sweet, fortified red wine. While at first that sounds dreadful, it’s quite mellow and rich (usually fortified with brandy, not just any old distilled spirit like the long gone Ripple was). It’s sweeter than most wine’s but not quite as rich and complex (or alcohol laden) as something like brandy. It’s usually sipped from a snifter as a dessert wine.

Since Port contains more alcohol (about 19-20%), these actually carried more of the wine scent when I opened the box. (The others just smelled like chocolate.)

Wine Filled ChocolateThis was the most successful for me. The port was much more intense. There were dark brandy notes, woodsy flavors, a hit of alcohol of course and then the subtle notes of the mediocre chocolate shell.

The boxes are color coded, though there’s no actual key. The only place that the variety is indicated is on the little tag on the ribbon. Once you take the ribbon off it’s a guessing game. (The champagne & port were pretty easy to guess by color, but I kept getting the Chardonnay & Cabernet confused, especially since the Cabernet label never actually says Cab on it. )

Overall, the package was still a decent value. It’s over a pound of chocolates (18 ounces) delivered for $35. However, it’s Woot! so you never know when they’ll offer it again. (This is the second time I’ve seen it on there, which is why I ordered it. Thinking this review might be of value to someone in the future.)

It’s certainly a unique product, I’ve seen plenty of liquor filled chocolates and some ganaches flavored with wine, but I’ve never had another wine filled chocolate. I don’t think I’d want a whole box of them, but it might be fun as something to serve with a dessert cheese plate.

Related Candies

  1. Michel Cluizel 99%
  2. CocoaVino
  3. Chuao Chocolatier
  4. Choxie Champagne Truffles
  5. Wine Gums
Name: Wine Filled Chocolates
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Bouquet of Fruits
Place Purchased: Wine Woot!
Price: $29.99 for four
Size: 4.5 ounces per box
Calories per ounce: 108
Categories: Chocolate, White Chocolate, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 12:46 pm Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. I don’t think i’d be interested in these, they sound too strong for my liking. I’m not really into alcoholic chocolates, we usually see them in stores at christmas but i don’t go near them. Nice review though, the chocolate shots were beaut.

    Comment by Sweet Pursuit on 2/16/09 at 9:22 pm #
  2. Oh yeah and you said you keep getting the chocolates mixed up but doesn’t the colour of the box give you a hint or make you remember?

    Comment by Sweet Pursuit on 2/16/09 at 9:23 pm #
  3. great pictures.  i like the one of the red wine chocolate.  these sound gross to me though.

    Comment by shel on 2/17/09 at 3:59 am #
  4. Dear Cybele.
    The port filled chocolate sounds great.  I think you may want to give some thought to choco/vino combos for parties.  Did they do that at the Fancy Food show?  Love, Mom

    Comment by Eva on 2/17/09 at 7:30 am #
  5. anybody knows what to do if the alcohol inside the chocolate dries up and become crystalized? do i need to recook the chocolate?

    Comment by tan on 9/15/09 at 7:41 am #
  6. hi,

    where can i buy yr champagne filled chocolates in canada ? please revert asap.

    regards

    arnab

    Comment by arnab ghosh on 10/17/10 at 10:00 pm #

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