I'm sure there are people with much stronger willpower than me, but I don't know many people that, when confronted with the offer of free wine AND chocolate, would actually turn it down so when the nice people at Ferrero Rocher asked if I wanted to receive a hamper of chocolate and wine my immediate answer was HELL YES.
I'm a lifelong fan of Ferrero Rocher, they are a Christmas necessity in my house following a tradition of always buying my mum a box for Christmas when I was younger (my dad used to make me rings out of the wrappers with the little sticker on top being the "diamond") and I seem to have passed this on to my daughter who actually put Ferrero Rocher on her letter to Father Christmas this year.
The box that arrived was rather impressive, containing way more chocolate than I had ever thought would be in there! There were three different types of Ferrero product - Raffaello by Ferrero which is a light coconut wafer with a creamy interior and a toasted almond centre, Ferrero Rond Noir which is a delicate wafer with smooth chocolate cream and a dark chocolate almond pearl in the centre and finally the Classic Gold Ferrero Rocher with it's crispy wafter and whole hazelnut enveloped in a rich layer of milk chocolate.
Ferrero Rocher partnered with the Masters of Wine at the London Wine Academy to help find the perfect wine matches for the chocolates. The Classic Gold Ferrero Rocher was paired with the spicy Croix Milhas Rivesaltes Ambre from the Languedoc-Roussillon region in France whilst the Raffaello by Ferrero was matched with Martini Asti NV from Piedmont, Italy. I would agree both worked perfectly. Finally the Ferrero Rond Noir, which even as a dark chocolate lover were a little too much for me, was paired with a bottle of Dows Finest Reserve Port from Duero, Portugal. I've never really been a port lover so this wouldn't be my first choice but I can understand where they are coming from as the dark chocolate and hint of black cherry in the port are a combination that should work well.
I've never been an expert in wine-tasting or matching with food so was interested in some of the tips from the London Wine Academy. For instance I didn't know that wine needs to be at least as sweet as the food for a good match and whilst rose champagne and strawberries have often been cited as being a good match, they're not as the champagne is too dry. Apparently chocolate is a difficult food to match to wine because it clings to your taste buds and wines that pair well are often fortified. Sweet sparkling wines work well too apparently as the bubbles help to dislodge the chocolate and refresh your taste buds! (A good enough reason to open the sparkly stuff whilst eating chocolate if ever there was one!).
I'm still not going to profess to being an expert of wine-tasting or food & wine matching however I do think I am somewhat of an expert when it comes to tasting chocolate! I enjoyed all the chocolates but for me, hands down, the favourite has got to be the Classic Gold Ferrero Rocher, they just cannot be beaten!
With thanks to Ferrero Rocher & the London Wine Academy.