Chocolate & Spirit Tasting

While entertaining, I like to give my guests as many options as possible. It’s always fun to see what people gravitate towards. Everyone enjoys different things!  I also like to see how many plates & dishes I can use on one table, but that’s an entirely different topic we’ll talk about (never).

Ghirardelli  sent me a bunch of their new Intense Dark™ Chocolate to taste, and I decided to throw a little Chocolate & Spirit Party with them. I mean…what’s a girl to do with a six bars of chocolate?!  I thought it would be fun to encourage my guests to create fun flavor profiles with all of the food/spirit options I provided.

Let’s talk about CHOCOLATE! Ghirardelli  has a line of Intense Dark™ Chocolate.  There are so many different flavors to choose from!  In order to customize my party, I made labels out of card stock for each of the chocolates. The names are super intriguing and fun to write out.

  • Midnight Reverie
  • Cabernet Matinee
  • Twilight Delight
  • Toffee Interlude (my second favorite!)
  • Evening Dream
  • Sea Salt Soiree (my favorite!)

On the table where I set up the party, I formed little mounds of chocolate next to their corresponding handwritten label. I might have hoarded a few pieces of the Sea Salt Soiree in a kitchen cabinet…Shhh… don’t tell.

OPTIONS! OPTIONS! Let’s talk about food options to pair with the chocolate.

  • PEARS
  • STRAWBERRIES
  • DRIED FIGS
  • TOASTED WALNUTS
  • BACON
  • BANANAS
  • SPICY/SWEET PECANS
  • SALTED MARCONA ALMONDS

Most of these items were picked up from Trader Joe’s…which means you can have a tasting party in no time.

And now let’s talk about SPIRITS!  I busted into our Liquor Cabinet for this one:
Did you know that it’s actually really hard to pair chocolate with wine? You can read more about it here.
Since hard liquor is kind of my thing, I like to pair spirits with chocolate.
For those who aren’t into alcohol— tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are also good options. It’s ALWAYS important to serve water at a chocolate tasting party. It helps cleanse the palate. Chocolate makes me thirsty. Am I alone here?
  • Jack Daniel’s  Tennessee Honey Liqueur
  • Bulleit Bourbon
  • Johnnie Walker Green Label Malt Whisky (which has been discontinued!)
  • Ron Zacapa 23 Rum
  • Kahlua (for those who want to mix coffee with their chocolate)
And now we have the spread!
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!

I used some of my espresso cups for this party. I thought it would be fun way to contain the spirits.

And then I encouraged people to use the saucers for their chocolate pairings.
You can see a little pairing of pear, fig & strawberry to bring out the fruitiness of the Cabernet Matinee.
It’s like grape infused chocolate!
Bacon? Banana? Nuts? Bourbon?! You know I’m down with those combinations.
My mind races with thoughts of a nutty chocolate & banana rum birthday cake….
Having all of the options in front of guests provides excellent conversation maximizes guest participation.  Just keep your eye on those competitive folks…We’ve learned that there are certain people we could never play boardgames with. Monopoly is the worst. It gets too heated!


This post is sponsored  by Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ Chocolate. Create your escape here.

 

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36 Comments

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  • I have a question: How many were your guests? Because if you were more than four in total, some would miss on the cabernet matinee and the twilight delight… Grate idea on the whole! (but bacon?! bacon? you strange American people…!)

    • Tracy
      March 21, 2013

      I had 4 guests! We had PLENTY of chocolate :)

    • Deborah
      March 21, 2013

      Don’t knock the bacon + sweet combo till you’ve tried it! :-D Maple syrup plus bacon is yum.

      • Tracy
        March 21, 2013

        Sure is!! ;)

  • March 21, 2013

    so fun! but, what I really want to know is what kind of pen you used to write the labels? …I have a thing for a good pen!

  • March 21, 2013

    Dear Tracy,
    Please invite me to your next party because this looks amazing.
    Sincerely (fervently/seriously?),
    Sarah

  • March 21, 2013

    I’m just going to go stuff my face with chocolate and liquor now that you’ve made me hungry, thanks!

  • March 21, 2013

    Yummmmmmmmmmmm. chocolate and pecans please!

  • March 21, 2013

    I happen to be in love with the Evening Dream (totally was my gateway into dark chocolate!) and the thought of tasting all of these is swoon worthy! I’m curious what your favorite pairing was…. :)

  • March 21, 2013

    and again I cry that we are across the country from one another.
    damn you geography!!!!!!!

    this all looks amazing.
    excellent post, lady!

  • March 21, 2013

    How fun! What a cool combination.

    What do you think would go with cheese? (I like chocolate & cheese)

    • Tracy
      March 21, 2013

      I always like a Manchego with chocolate. It has a nutty/mellow flavor that doesn’t overpower.

  • March 21, 2013

    What a fun idea! Would be a great way to top off a dinner party. The Sea Salt is my personal favorite.

    • Tracy
      March 21, 2013

      Same!!

  • Amy
    March 21, 2013

    What a great idea, Tracy! I just received some of this new chocolate as a gift and was trying to think of what to use it for (besides eating it as a way to cope with finals!)

  • March 21, 2013

    My kind of party. Your friends are so lucky!

  • such a fun party, I love anything with dark chocolate :) add some liquor and fig Im one happy girl.

  • Jenny
    March 21, 2013

    Looks great! I’ll keep this idea in mind.

  • March 21, 2013

    “Since hard liquor is kind of my thing”… Ha! This sounds like fun, a mash up of dark chocolate, banana, and bacon sounds tasty. My favorite booze is gin; not sure how that would pair.

    • Tracy
      March 21, 2013

      Oooh that would be kinda tricky. I like to pair fruits with gin because of the herbal quality. The bitterness in the juniper berries balances out with fruit! Not so sure how it would be with chocolate.

  • March 21, 2013

    This is such a fun idea! Delicious too. I think my next party is going to be a chocolate tasting. I must try some of these combos! : )

    Danielle

    • April 7, 2013

      I’m with ya Daneille.

  • March 21, 2013

    I love this idea! Where did you get the animal print plates? I adore them! (How many exclamation points can I use in one comment?)

    • Tracy
      March 21, 2013

      Probably not as many as I put in my posts! I love exclamation points! The cups were actually a gift from my mother-in-law. I got them many many years ago and adore them!

  • March 22, 2013

    i love all of these Gherardelli dark chocolate barks. I almost always have one of these in my purse, in my desk drawer, or somewhere in my apartment for my after-dinner treat. Very satisfying!

  • March 23, 2013

    Wow! Que variedad!

  • Hannah
    March 23, 2013

    You’re not alone on the chocolate making you thirsty!!! My fiancé said it would be the worst torture in the world to feed him chocolate and then not let him drink water :)

  • March 24, 2013

    I don’t really drink spirits but this definitely makes me want to just so I can pair it with chocolate. Also, I like that you used bacon and the fact that your writing looks like a really cool font. I would totally use that font.

  • March 25, 2013

    holy moly I want to come to this party next time. I can’t even decide which chocolate I would like best – they all seriously look amazing!!

  • March 26, 2013

    I LOVE trying different chocolates. Pairing the chocolate with spirits sounds fun and interesting. Sounds like a fun way to get to know the neighbors and meet some new friends, too.

  • March 27, 2013

    Ghirardhelli is my kids favorite chocolate! This is inspiring me to do a chocolate tasting with my hubby. Love all your ideas!

  • this is my kind of party! chocolate, spirits & bacon, yes pa-lease.

  • March 27, 2013

    I would definitely go Toffee Interlude + rum, and maybe a piece of bacon or two…..

  • April 7, 2013

    Love, Love, Love dark chocolate. Must try our Fleur de sel caramels they will send your head spinning.

  • April 9, 2013

    That toffee interlude is the bomb!

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