I’ve been to the SOMA Chocolatemaker several times at the Distillery District location. It’s always tough to decide what to get, but each time I make sure I leave with something either for myself or as gifts. Surprisingly I haven’t been to their King Street West location even though I walk by pretty often. This was where the Inniskillin and SOMA Chocolatemaker tasting event was held. It was an indulging evening of wine and chocolate pairings crafted by winemaker, Bruce Nicholson, and chocolatier, David Castellan. Inniskillin Estate Chef David Penny also prepared three appetizers with suggested wine pairings.
I honestly know very little about wine. Even though I visited several wineries in Niagara during a wine tour this summer, I still find the whole experience around it very overwhelming. But I know for a fact that I’m starting to love whites and ice wines. And a chance to indulge in chocolate? Yes please!
There were a total of five tasting stations throughout the store, each with a different wine and chocolate pairing:
1. Inniskillin Oak Aged Chardonnay + SOMA Costan Rican Milk Chocolate 32%
A light and fruity wine paired with the buttery texture of milk chocolate.
2. Inniskillin Late Autumn Riesling + SOMA Dark Fire 66%
This was a really interesting pairing. The sweetness of the Riesling against the spicy kick of the chocolate went really well together.
3. Inniskillin Pinot Noir + SOMA Dark Blend 64% Peruvian Dark Chocolate
4. Inniskillin Cabernet Franc + SOMA Madagascar 70%
5. Inniskillin Vidal Icewine + SOMA Caramel Cream Kiss
This pairing was my absolute favourite, and it was a popular choice that night too! The sweetness of the Vidal and the melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate ganache was so decadent. I felt so spoiled at this station…
I also ran into Amy, which was pretty exciting since I’ve been liking her Instagram pictures of yummy desserts for months! Here’s Bruce Nicholson of Inniskillin Niagara talking about the winery and the collaboration with SOMA Chocolatemaker.
At the back of the shop, you can watch them make chocolate in their on-site chocolate lab.
After visiting all five stations, it was time for Chef David Penny’s appetizers. Although it was difficult to try them with their respective wine pairings while trying to juggle between the food, the wine glass, the food menu and the camera.
Inniskillin Cocoa Cured Duck Breast Red Onion Confit, paired with the Pinot Noir.
Pulled Chicken Slider with a Red Wine Chocolate BBQ Sauce, paired with Cabernet Franc.
Celeriac Soup Porcini Mayan Chocolate Dust, paired with Oak Aged Chardonnay.
Everyone is going to have their own favourite pairings and it takes some serious experimentation. The local winemaker and chocolatier did an amazing job in putting together five uniquely different pairings. These suggestions will definitely be a hit for holiday entertaining…or for yourself.