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Operation Chocolat Goes Trendy

Okay, the fact that I’ve even heard of this is a nigh-miracle.  I’m usually the last person to catch on to anything hip – I discover bands ten years after everyone else, I hear about books and movies well after others do, I’m pretty much the last to know about trends.

But apparently the internets is going bugnuts over a hot beverage trend – combining mulled wine and hot chocolate.

Frankly, it sounds weird at first blush – kind of like a half-assed entry from Iron Chef or Chopped where a contestant had two ingredients left over and just threw them together. But after reading a lively discussion about it elsewhere online, I found myself looking thoughtfully over at my cabinet.  – I have the makings of hot chocolate, I thought. – I have the bittersweet chocolate…I have the milk…and I have a lacing of  Shiraz left over.  …And I’ve had a crappy day.

Now, this isn’t as simple as spiking your Nestle’s.  No, this is the kind of hot chocolate that you have to heat up milk on the stove and stir in chips and whisk it.  And there were a score of recipes, all calling for different approaches to heating the wine – some with spices, some without, some separate from the milk, some together at the last minute.  The one I used actually called for melting the chocolate into the wine first, heating them both together into a sort of ganache-y thing, and then adding the milk.

…Honestly, I don’t taste the wine. It could be because I’m using super-high-end chocolate and kinda-plebian wine (Guittard for the chocolate, Two-Buck Chuck for the wine), but – the most I taste is a faint sort of fruity whisper, which is easy to mistake for a note in the flavor of the chocolate.  On another note, though, I’m sipping this at the rate I usually have hot chocolate – which is at a somewhat faster clip than I drink wine.  And I’m about halfway through the mug and am starting to feel a little…fuzzy.

My family are all wine nerds, especially my brother when hosting family events. I think I may have to introduce him to this custom.


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