by Markus Stolz

White
and dark

byMarkus Stolz
October 29, 2009, 22 Comments

Gaia Notios RoditisOne evening a short while ago I was overcome by a sudden urge for really dark chocolate. I only like chocolate with a minimum cocoa content of 70%, the higher the better. I also prefer to eat dark chocolate cold and store it in the fridge.

A few days before, my mother-in-law had given me some almonds covered in dark chocolate that were left over from an event she had hosted. I helped myself to one and went back to my working desk. I took a small bite and enjoyed. A few minutes earlier, I had poured myself a glass of white wine, and I took a sip.

A fruit explosion hit my taste buds immediately. The wine cut right through the dark chocolate and somehow the bitterness of the almonds maximised the exotic fruit aromas of the wine. The dark chocolate also fitted in perfectly, and the combined result was an extremely fruity and fresh raisin sensation. In my opinion, the high acidity level of the wine and the low sugar content of the dark chocolate worked perfectly in sync.

The wine in question is the Gaia Notios, a good “value wine” that retails between 6 and 7 Euros. It is a blend of Moschofilero and Roditis. Moschofilero results in highly aromatic, crisp wines. Roditis has high fruit levels and intense aromas. In blending these two varieties, the high acidity levels of the Moschofilero make the resulting wine quite vibrant. It is dominated by melon and citrus flavours.

I usually do not write about wine and food pairings, as there are so many great sources available that already do a great job, a good example being Fiona Beckett. But when I find something unusual and off the beaten track, I might just do that. I always thought of red wines to go with chocolate, now I will keep looking out for whites.

Roditis Grape on Foodista

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About Markus Stolz

Over the last years, I have come to really appreciate Greek wines. There are many grape varieties that exist only in Greece and I have the good fortune of being able to try them all. I wish to share my enthusiasm with wine lovers around the world, who often limit themselves to maybe four red and four white grape varieties for most of their life.

  1. Kostas KatsoulierisOctober 29, 2009, 9:56 pm

    Wow! Very surprising as I like you thought of red wines, Cabernet or my favourite, aged Mavrodaphne. Then again the Corsicans swear by Vin d’Orange… Just goes to show how wonderfully varied the world of wine is and that when it comes to matching food with wines (or vice versa) there are few rules.

  2. elloinosOctober 29, 2009, 10:03 pm

    Kosta, I was very surprised myself – and it happened only by chance. I have sincee tried with Moschofilero and Roditis on their own, but the sucess really lies in the combination of the two grape varieties. Do try and give me your feedback. Aged Mavrodaphne makes a lot sense also.

  3. Fiona BeckettOctober 29, 2009, 11:17 pm

    I love these serendipitous discoveries which makes food and wine matching so continually fascinating. I too am a fan of plain dark chocolate so will certainly now experiment with aromatic white wines. Thanks for tipping me off!

  4. elloinosOctober 29, 2009, 11:49 pm

    Fiona, thanks for your engagement. I love your work, and I am honored that you comment. Food and wine matching is an art, but at the same time it can simply be pure fun. I am in no way an expert on the subject, but on this occasion the pairing just stood out. I have tried the same wine serveral times now with the same dark chocolate, as I was not able to find any reference to this combination on the Internet. It is still working for my palate, and I hope that more people will experiment with this.

  5. andreasOctober 30, 2009, 2:41 pm

    very very cool, i will be trying this pairing with the very wine you mention (i think we have it on the list). i like the way you write, i hope you have a chance to come to baltimore some time and visit us at the black olive.

  6. elloinosOctober 30, 2009, 2:48 pm

    Thanks Andreas, I do like your work on tumblr. I have not been to the US for a few years, but will make sure I visit when a trip comes up. For the pairing, I think it is important to use almonds covered in dark chocolate, the almond just adds a real nice kick and brings out the fruit flavours.

  7. Thomas PellechiaOctober 31, 2009, 9:59 pm

    Markus,

    This is interesting. I’m going to have to try it–never even considered trying it. I agree the almonds must have given it the boost.

    I like dark chocolate in the 90% cacao range–hard to find, but I know where to get some. Now, I have to find either that wine or a comparable aromatic.

    And do get to the Black Olive. I was there once. You’ll love it.

  8. elloinosNovember 1, 2009, 9:28 pm

    Thomas, I do hope that you will be able to find the wine, the Black Olive mentioned that they list it. I look forward to hearing your feedback.

  9. Kostas KatsoulierisNovember 2, 2009, 12:41 am

    Markus,

    When doing my weekly shop yesterday I found both almond dark chocolate and the Notios white. I tried them both together and have to admit that surprisingly they do match. I think the almonds made the difference as did of course the blend of Roditis and Moschofilero. Thank you for the post which both made me discover an interesting food/wine match as well as try the Notios – great value for money, lovely aromas and fruitiness. I am now tempted to try dark chocolate with a dry Mavrodaphne (I am already a huge fan of dark chocolate with aged fortified Mavrodaphne) to see how it compares with both it’s sweet version and with Cabernet.

  10. elloinosNovember 2, 2009, 10:17 am

    Kosta, I am so glad you tried and enjoyed this unusual pairing and I do encourage others to do the same. The Notios white is indeed a very good value for money wine. Let me know when you have paired the dark chocolate with a dry Mavrodaphne!

  11. Paul DNovember 2, 2009, 3:05 pm

    Strangely enough I have one bottle of Notios and a dark chocolate bar with Almonds. Would never have paired them in a million years but will now.

  12. Thomas PellechiaNovember 2, 2009, 3:31 pm

    Markus,

    The Black Olive is more than 400 miles from me, but I was in their neighborhood not too long ago and was taken there.

    Maybe I can find the Notios in NY City when I next visit my original hometown–that’s only 296 miles away!

  13. elloinosNovember 2, 2009, 3:40 pm

    Paul, please share if you find the pairing good or bad – would love to receive feedback on this. Cheers.

  14. elloinosNovember 2, 2009, 3:42 pm

    Thomas, what can I say? I do hope that you will be able to find the Notios somewhere close by, 400 miles is a bit of a stretch :)

  15. Paul DNovember 3, 2009, 2:15 pm

    Will try at the weekend Markus and report back.

  16. Paul DDecember 4, 2009, 11:47 pm

    Finally got round to trying this combination and was pleasantly surprised, if not shocked, at how well the tastes blended so well. Big thumbs up from me Markus and even took a photo of the 2 ingredients as a reminder, which I’m happy to send if you are interested.

  17. elloinosDecember 5, 2009, 12:02 am

    Paul, I am so glad you gave it a shot. Please mail me the photos mstolz@elloinos.com, certainly am interested.

  18. best chocolateMay 8, 2010, 6:04 am

    Some say it can’t be done, pairing wine with chocolate, but if you have the right wine to complement the right chocolate it can be a match made in heaven!

  19. Chocolate OnlineJune 22, 2010, 10:28 am

    your comment about chocolate storing in fridge and eating is true

  20. [...] Gaia Notios white 2009 (Moschofilero/Roditis) 12% alc. € 6,94 Very pale silver colour, melon and fresh flowers dominate the nose. It is medium bodied on the palate, with a refreshing acidity that seems to work wonders. The fruit really comes to live; this is a vibrant wine, harmonious without being pretentious, a food wine par excellence (for an unusual pairing with this, click here). [...]

  21. Wines in WorcesterNovember 16, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Will definately give that combo a try this evening then! Ive always preferred dark chocolate too.

  22. Cookie@Unique Gift BasketsDecember 26, 2010, 6:15 pm

    Thanks for the exotic taste treat. White wine and dark chocolate. I have never combined the two. It’s always great to learn of a new taste sensation. And placing dark chocolate in the fridge, makes sense. That will be my next effort.

  1. [...] Gaia Notios white 2009 (Moschofilero/Roditis) 12% alc. € 6,94 Very pale silver colour, melon and fresh flowers dominate the nose. It is medium bodied on the palate, with a refreshing acidity that seems to work wonders. The fruit really comes to live; this is a vibrant wine, harmonious without being pretentious, a food wine par excellence (for an unusual pairing with this, click here). [...]