The other night, Holman Ranch Vineyards, www.holmanranch.com, hosted a very enjoyable event at their tasting room—a wine and chocolate tasting, featuring Holman Ranch wines and Lula’s chocolates (and a taste of the superb Holman Ranch olive oil, too). Pretty ideal, as far as we were concerned.
We took our seats in the small tasting room at 19 E. Carmel Valley Road right in front of the lit Christmas tree and immediately starting tasting the wines that are now being produced from grapes grown right at Holman Ranch, a Carmel Valley estate whose ranching history goes back more than a century.
The first wine we tasted was a 2010 Pinot Gris, a light, citrusy, very refreshing white. The second, a 2010 Rose de Pinot Noir, had a lovely blush color created by the skins of the grapes being left with the juice for 8 hours. The 2010 Chardonnay was full and flavorful.
And then, the 2009 Pinot Noir, which Holman considers its flagship wine, and the chocolate from Lula’s, located in Monterey. Ta-dah! The owner of Lula’s Chocolates, Scott Lund, was there and gave us quite a lesson on the history and making of chocolate. He had prepared a serving dish for each attendee, with tastes of chocolates at various stages of its development, and included a crib sheet for which kinds of chocolates pair with which kinds of wines.
He suggested that the bittersweet and dark chocolates are best with stronger red wines. Of course, the Holman 2009 Pinot Noir was a perfect accompaniment to the wine truffle chocolates that Scott brought for us to enjoy. Scott suggested we eat the chocolate first so it would melt in our mouth and then to have the wine. Oh, yes.
We are so lucky to have so many fine wines in the valley and to have such fine locally made chocolate as well to pair with them. Lula’s has its original store in the Crossroads, a new elegant store in Carmel, and the chocolates can be found at many other retail stores. You can also order on-line. Check out their story and ordering possibilities at http://lulas.com/about/.
What a great idea for those last minute holiday gifts—a nice Holman Ranch wine with a box of Lula’s chocolates. (Their sea salt caramels are incredible!) Or if savory is your pleasure, try the very earthy Holman Ranch olive oil. We loved it.
Happy Holidays, everyone!