On February 11th, Jocelyn Gragg of Jardi Chocolates and Jeff Madsen of Brookhaven Wines partnered to host a chocolate and wine pairing. At this point, I had known Jeff for the better part of 4 years, and Jocelyn for about 2 years. They are both phenomenal individuals, and I knew this was not an event to miss.


The event was held at the Jardi Chocolates facilities. We were welcomed by Jocelyn Gragg and her husband Jacob Gragg. Jocelyn is the Chef and Founder of Jardi Chocolates, and has been operating since 2015. Partnering with her was Jeff Madsen, who provided wine on behalf of Brookhaven Wines. I have been shopping with Brookhaven Wines since 2014, and they are hands down the best wine store inside the perimeter. For those who are not local to Atlanta, GA, the “perimeter” is Interstate 285 which forms a perimeter of asphault around the city. 

As we found our areas for the tasting, each guest had a tasting chart in front of them (pictured above), with each chocolate in its place, and a few wine glasses ready to receive the wines we’d be pairing with these pieces of art. Below, I’ve provided a breakdown with the help of Jocelyn and Jeff that describes the wine (comments by Jeff) and the chocolates (comments by Jocelyn), and my overall impression of the pairing.

First Pairing

Jeff: “Paired with Raspberry Rose Pistachio, the Cremant de Loire Rose is 100% Cab Franc, very raspberry/strawberry red-fruited, slight amount of residual sugar, acidity, and bubbles cut through the chocolate.
Jocelyn: “Raspberry Rose Pistachio: An updated look at our original flavor Bad Wolf, Raspberry Rose Pistachio has a velvet dark chocolate shell filled with a milk chocolate and raspberry ganache, studded with pieces of candied pistachio.

Second Pairing

Jeff: “Paired with Ginger/Guava – wanted something aromatic and tropical, with a little RS, this Gewurtztraminer “Classic” has that tropical fruit and ginger/lychee aromatic profile, this one was pretty good too!”
Jocelyn: Ginger Guava: This dark chocolate shell brings sweet and spicy a new angle: a sweet guava caramel layered over a spicy milk chocolate and ginger ganache.”

Third Pairing

Jeff: “Paired with the Herbs de Provence b/c the Cotes Du Rhone from this part of the world has that “garrigue” (as they call it) character of lavender/thyme/lemon aroma.  This one worked very well to me if you had the truffle in your mouth and smelled the wine.”
Jocelyn: “Herbs de Provence: Winner of the Gold Medals for Best Exterior Design and Best Overall Truffle Artistry, Silver Medal for Most Unique, and Bronze Medals for Best Ingredient Combination and Best Taste at the 2017 International Chocolate Salon’s Truffle Artistry Awards.

An herbal citrus explosion!  This dark chocolate shell is filled with a lemon thyme white chocolate ganache, and is finished with a dried lavender and thyme salt.”

Fourth Pairing

Jeff: “Paired with sesame raspberry, this one tastes like a PBJ, wanted to meld the jammy 2013 Old Vine Zinfandel fruit with that jam and nuttiness in the truffle.”
Jocelyn: Sesame Raspberry: This dark chocolate shell contains two flavors of sesame: a black sesame chew and a white sesame white chocolate ganache, accented with a touch of raspberry jam.”

Conclusion

Jocelyn and Jacob did a wonderful job hosting this event. While you will never get a shortage of information from them, they stay on topic with salient details. You walk away feeling educated, not overwhelmed; these are huge points in my book. Jeff, as always, did the same with the wines he poured for us. While I would have any of these pairings time and time over, here is my general breakdown in 20 words or less.

1. The Rose Pairing: Refreshing and lite. Can see this work well during any time of the year, any occasion.
2. Gerwurtz and Ginger Guava: Sweet and Crisp. Elegant and complex. Recommend for dessert.
3. Herbs and CdRPowerful and memorable. A must try. Salt on the bottom of chocolate creates multi-dimensional flavor.
4. Zinfandel and Raspberry: A meal in and of itself. Chewy mouthfeel, hearty, savory, and delicious flavor

In true Jeff manner, he treated us all to some bonus wines that I won’t go into here. Suffice it to say, we were all well taken care of. I wouldn’t have missed this event for the world, and I’m already anxious to attend the next event. You can follow both Jocelyn and Jeff on Facebook, pages below. If you are local to Atlanta, it would be in your best interest, health, and well-being to catch their next event. 

Brookhaven Wines: https://www.facebook.com/BrookhavenWines/

Jardi Chocolates: https://www.facebook.com/jardichocolates/