When it comes to chocolates, Filipino flavors are not the first thing you think of; however, there's one person who has kicked that door wide open. For the past few years, Filipina chocolatier, Tonet Tibay of Marti Chocolatt has been in the forefront of incorporating the tasty essence of the Philippines in the ganaches of her delicious bon bons.
Already a big fan of her chocolate, I wondered how they would pair with wines, so I asked Santos Uy, Owner of the Mignon Wine + Cheese Bar, if he'd do the honors for me and a small group of Filipino friends. Given that Santos is also Filipino, I really trusted his palate to choose just the right wines and he definitely got the job done.
For this pairing event, Santos paired 4 wines with 6 different chocolates, starting with the "La Cueille" Bugey Cerdon Rosé which was matched with the Mango Caramel chocolate. The Mango Caramel also had a jasmine tea infusion as part of the ganache and was enrobed in dark chocolate. As for the Rosé, it was a sparkling red wine with the taste of strawberries and it really complemented the sweet and subtle floral notes of the Mango Caramel.
Our second and third matchup was the 2009 Ca del Baio Particella 101 Italy Moscato d'asti with a Calamansi Chocolate and Pineapple with Philippine Sea Salt Chocolate. By the way, if you've never heard of calamansi, click here to get some info. It's basically a very popular fruit that is heavily used in the Philippines as well as other parts of Southeast Asia and the flavor can be compared to that of a marriage between an orange and a lime. Generally, the fruit itself tends to be tart while the skin is sweeter. What worked well here is that the sweetness of the Moscato was a great counterpoint to the sweet-tart flavors of both the Calamansi and the Pineapple chocolates.
For our fourth pairing, the Broadbent Fine Rich Sweet Madeira was put together with one of Tonet's newest creations, the Black Pearl, which is made up of Filipino Black Sesame in a white chocolate ganache. The Madeira tasted a little almonds to me which went well with the nuttiness of the black sesame of the Black Pearl chocolate.
When it came to our fifth and sixth pairing, Santos matched Kopke Porto, which is a 10 year old Port with Buko Pandan and Jackfruit. Buko, by the way, is the word Filipinos use to describe young coconut, so the Buko Pandan chocolate was infused with pandan and included bits of young coconut. What's interesting about Jackfruit is that it can be either savory or sweet, depending on how it's prepared, and has been described by some as tasting like a tart banana.
I'm not much of a port fan and on its own, the Kopke Porto, while smooth, felt too strong on my palate. However, both chocolates cut into the intensity for me. So when eaten and drunken together, there was a nice harmony that my tastebuds appreciated.
Overall, this was a really fun food and wine event and not only because of the fabulous chocolates from Tonet/Marti Chocolatt and the inspired wine pairings from Santos/Mignon. Instead, it was a really wonderful opportunity to support two Filipino-owned food businesses and hopefully, through this blog post, it's my way to invite all of you to check them out for yourself.
SPECIAL EVENT: Interested in attending an event featuring the chocolates from Tonet Tibay of Marti Chocolatt paired with wines selected by Santos Uy of Mignon? Click here for more info!