Cocktails & Spirits

Chocolate Wine: Uh-Oh

When I first espied the bottle of ChocoVine on the shelves of Publix -- "The taste of dutch chocolate and fine red wine" -- I just had to try it. I mean, as the company website puts it: "The right chocolate paired with the perfect wine can create a near-orgasmic taste experience." So this was perfect, as I just happened to have been in the mood for a near-orgasm. Plus this wasn't to be any old wine/cocoa pairing, but that of "a fine French Cabernet subtly combined with a rich, dark chocolate from Holland."

Or not.


My first hint that perhaps this was not the finest quality chocolate or wine came via the $11.99 price. The color of the liquid was also too Yoo-Hoo-ish to suggest any deep flavors. Then, when I got home, I read the ingredients: "Grape wine with artificial flavor, cream and artificial colors." Guess the name of the artificial flavor is "rich, dark chocolate from Holland". On the plus side, at least the wine used has grapes in it.

It does not taste at all like any type of wine -- French Cab or otherwise. In fact, ChocoVine tastes exactly like a knock-off of the Bailey's Irish Cream knock-offs. The alcohol content is 14 percent, which is in line with the Irish whiskey-infused original. It is thinner, more chocolatey, and not nearly as good as Bailey's -- although it is half the price, if you really want to go there.

Europa makes this beverage in Holland; Clever Imports of Ft. Lauderdale is the importer. I think they should change the name to Too Clever Imports.

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein