Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Chocolate Lab Experiment

Warning: This post is not about dogs.  It's about wine.

So here goes....

I am not a wine connoisseur.  No, far from it.

VERY far from it.

I was nurtured by sweet Concord grape wine (Manischewitz, to be exact), and, in my early adulthood back in the 1970's, enjoyed the gourmet cheap offerings of Boone's Farm and still, when reaching for wine, tend to favor the sweet stuff.

But, I don't put Manischewitz down at all.  It was a local wine (Brooklyn) when I was growing up in the Bronx, and it is an upstate New York wine now, being made in Naples, New York.  And, although they have a lot more variety in their wine output now, you can still buy a bottle of that sweet Manischewitz Concord grape wine goodness.

So, when I saw this bottle in a newly opened wine and liquor store near my home, I was intrigued.  "Unabashedly unsophisticated?" That's me, exactly, when it comes to wine.  Perhaps I should be a little ashamed to admit it, but my wine palate has never progressed from where it started out at, 18, which was the legal drinking age when I turned 18.

I would never have imagined wine and chocolate in the same sentence, except to say "bleechhh".  I was to a wine tasting once where they "paired" chocolate and wine, and, I'm sorry to say, it was awful.  (Of course, "awful" to me may mean something different to a wine connoisseur).

But who could resist the face on the bottle?

I looked Chocolate Lab wine up online. Yes, it is a New York State (Seneca Lake) wine.  Yes, it is made from sweet concord grapes (the "lush native grapes" of the label) and natural chocolate favor.  Two years ago, I did not find anything like this at the Finger Lakes Wine Festival, but maybe they didn't waste Chocolate Lab on the masses. (or maybe, it wasn't being made yet.)

Apparently, there are those who like this as a dessert wine.  There was even one review that likened it to "drinking a Tootsie Roll".  So, this is what I did.

I bought a bottle.

I'm going to have it on Valentine's Day if I am permitted. (Hopefully, I'll be far enough recovered from my dental surgery to indulge, but I am on antibiotics - so I may have to wait a day or so.)

And then, I am going to tell you, my blog readers, what I thought. 

My first wine review! (run, run as fast as you can....)

Have you had chocolate flavored wine before?  Or a wine named after a dog?


  1. Eh! That was my total impression of it- and I love chocolate...

  2. I have to admit it I love wine and chocolate, they make a perfect combination for me. I would also be intrigued my the design of the bottle but probably a bit confused to why a cute dog is portrayed on it - what does it have to do with wine? anyway it sounds like a nice flavor and I often find cheaper ones delicious so I guess it's not about but flavor and most importantly - the consumer's taste in wine.

  3. Interesting bits of tidbits about Manischewitz - also one of the wines I grew up with and all the Passover stuff in New York City including the chocolate pops kosher for Passover. I have some really fun and yummy memories.
    Dorit Sasson
    Giving Voice to Your Story

  4. Drinking it right now for New Year's Eve. I've had it several times at the FLWF. That's where I got this bottle in July.


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