Sunday, February 10, 2013

ChocoVine Chocolate-Flavored Red Wine: A Review

As I wandered through a funky little grocery store downtown, looking for new and different things to try as an attempt to change up the routine around the house, I found a ton of interesting things I never knew existed.  I discovered honeyed goat cheese, chickpea and kale hummus, wasabi couscous,  and this bottle of ChocoVine chocolate-flavored red wine.
Now, I am not much of a drinker.  You would think I would be after working with children all day, but alas I am not.  I enjoy the occasional Blue Moon Belgian-Style Wheat Ale with a slice of orange while at Chili’s  but that’s about it.  However, I was more than intrigued by the prospect of a chocolate wine.

ChocoVine (horrible product name) is made in Holland by Team Products which is owned by DeKuyper and then imported by Clever Imports in Fort Lauderdale.  And the bottle says Europa on it.  (I think the whole thing is a money laundering operation).

The website for ChocoVine is both absurd and awesome.  It describes the combination of chocolate and wine as having “near-orgasmic” effects.  Now I’ll be the first one to admit that a bottle of LaCrema and a box of See's chocolates are the perfect pairing for a quiet night of watching Girls on HBO, but I don’t think I ever came close to the aforedescribed experience.  Perhaps ChocoVine will get me there.

They also mention the “years of research” that went into making ChocoVine.  At first I pictured a lab with a setup similar to Seth Brundle’s in The Fly.  Wine in one pod and an accidental chocolaty thumb smudge on the door before it was sealed.  Though upon a cursory glance at the ingredients list, apparently their research never lead them to actually using real chocolate, only artificial flavors, despite the site’s rhetoric about chocolate this and chocolate that. They even throw down with the antioxidant health stuff.  Shady.

And I can’t forget about the clip of ChocoVine being plugged on a Lifetime look-at-this-crazy-product-am-I-right-ladies-type show that looks like it should be playing on a TV screen in a doctor’s waiting room.  Don't you think the "Consume within SIX MONTHS of opening" should tip us all off?  I mean, WHAT is IN this stuff that it can exist for a half a year after being opened!?  That alone tips me off that it can't be that tasty, it's planning on renting shelf space for a half a year in my house!

The stuff smells like Bailey’s or Kahlua or some such creamy liqueur.   It’s smooth and thick.  It doesn’t exactly ooze into the glass but it certainly isn’t splashy.  Really, it tastes like a spiked Yoo-hoo.  There’s no hint of grapes or wine other than the alcohol bite, which is there, but minimal.  You won’t be swirling and sniffing this looking for subtleties and nuance.

If one was averse to the taste of spirits, this bottle would be an express train to Drunktown (there may be connecting service to Vomitville, as you just consumed 25 ounces of a thick chocolatish grape-based beverage).

ChocoVine seems a little low rent and is obviously a novelty.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  It tastes good enough.  I’m sure a lot of creative drinks could be mixed up with this stuff without breaking the bank.  I’d sip some on occasion.  Whether I could finish a whole glass, I don’t know.  If you see a bottle, get it for your next get together, if only for the conversation it will start. My husband and I cooked some down and poured it over ice cream, that was so far the best way to consume it we've found.

Oh yea,  and it’s a Cabernet, if that means anything to you.


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