Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | May 31, 2011

An Evening of Chocolate and Wine: Boston Chocolate Tours & School

Last Thursday evening, a group of Boston area Registered Dietitians got together to indulge in every RD’s two favorite things:

Chocolate and wine!

I know, I know. You are thinking what are dietitians, the nutrition health professionals, doing drinking wine and eating chocolate?

I’ve got one thing to tell you…Dietitians are human too! We enjoy food. Scratch that, we love food. So you can’t be shocked to discover that we too like to indulge in treats every now and then. Plus, let’s not forget all the antioxidants such as flavanols and resveratrol that dark chocolate and wine contain!

Organized by the Massachusetts Dietetic Association, the evening of chocolate and wine was led by Boston Chocolate Tours & School. The class was held at The College Club of Boston located in Boston’s Back Bay. The College Club holds various events in their function rooms, and also serves as a bed-and-breakfast. The room we sat in was elegant and resembled the Victorian era. The table was set with six filled wine glasses and 6 squares of chocolate for each place.

Harry Silverstein, who led the chocolate and wine class, is a wine and chocolate connoisseur and previously owned a store in D.C. where he sold wine and specialty foods. He plans to open a store in Boston in the Back Bay area called Recipe. Be on the look out! He led us through a wine and chocolate pairing and educated us on both. Who knew there was so much to learn about wine and chocolate!

He walked us through the 5 S’s of tasting wine: See, Sniff, Swirl (sniff again), Sip, & Savor.

Did you know there is a method to taste chocolate as well? See, Smell, Listen, Taste & Savor. Have you ever listened to your chocolate before? I hadn’t either. With a good quality piece of chocolate, you should be able to hear a distinct snap when breaking the chocolate. That’s because you are breaking the crystal lattice which causes an audible sound. Try listening to your chocolate next time! Just don’t be surprised if you notice some odd stares as you hold the chocolate up to your ears. You should take a small piece, let it sit on your tongue, and melt, allowing it to reach all your taste buds.

We learned chocolate should only contain a few ingredients: cacao beans, sugar, soy lecithin, vanilla, and milk solids (if milk chocolate). With dark chocolate varieties, there is a higher percentage of cacao than there is sugar and the remaining ingredients. Cacao beans are made into cacao butter and cacao solids, both used in the making of chocolate. The chocolate we tasted (with the exception of one) was from a company called El Rey located in Venezuela. We tasted white chocolate, milk chocolate, and varying degrees of dark chocolate.

The wine and chocolate pairings progressed from fruity and sweet to dry and bitter:

2009 La Serra Moscato D’Asti, Piedmont, Italy with Godiva White Chocolate

2009 Alasia Brachetto D’Acqui, Tuscany, Italy with El Rey’s milk chocolate

2009 Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, South Africa with El Rey’s Bucare 58.5% cacao

2007 Luc Piret Merlot, Southern France with El Rey’s Mijao 61% cacao

2007 Cameron Hughes Lot 184 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley, CA with El Rey’s Gran Saman 70% cacao

N/V Fonseca Bin 27 Port with El Rey’s Apamate 73.5% cacao

It was an educational and delicious evening. I was happy to see a couple familiar faces and meet Allison of Choices.Habits.Lifestyle and Janice Bissex of Meal Makeover Moms.

I left the chocolate and wine class very content and that contentment was heightened when I stepped out into what felt like the first Summer night in Boston. No jackets needed. 🙂

Peace, love, and food,


Have you ever taken a wine or chocolate class? Or done a wine or chocolate tasting? What was your experience?



  1. I was so sad to miss this event but glad I caught your recap 🙂 Is 10am too early for wine and chocolate? Cuz now I’m in the mood for it. Great tip about chocolate “snapping.” I’ve noticed that with some of my higher quality dark chocolates, but never with something like a Hershey bar!

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