Wine Review: 2012 Sexual Chocolate

Yes, you read that right. This week we’re reviewing a wine called Sexual Chocolate. The wine is a product of two college roommates, and you can read about their story here.

First, though, let me give you some context for this wine review. We recently went “camping” for a long weekend in the Shenandoah Mountains. Fear not, the most rustic thing we had to do was make a fire. And find suitable wine to drink next to it.

And we found some suitable wine with ease! We visited several of our favorite VA vineyards on this trip, which we will be reviewing this week, so stay tuned for those posts.

Sexual Chocolate is a California red blend – it’s Zinfandel, Syrah and Petite Sirah. This is a bold, silky wine, my friends. In fact, before I even looked up what was in the blend, the Syrah was evident immediately just from the nose. That smoke and dark fruit with a little bit of spice is vintage Syrah!

The wine stands up to its name, in that it definitely carries a note of chocolate with it (not sure about sexual mojo, but it’s definitely got chocolate). A chocolate covered cherry, in fact. The wine also gave us loads of dark fruit, cigar smoke and a hint of raspberry jam. It reminded Emma of a s’more and me of the center of a Tootsie Pop.  Cookie wasn’t a huge fan of the wine. She prefers bigger California reds that open with a touch more fruit. While this wine had fruit from the Zinfandel, the jammy quality was checked slightly by the smoky, meaty, earthy profiles of the Syrah.

The Petite Sirah was there to give the wine structure and balance. A note about Petite Sirah. First, Petite Sirah is not just a smaller version of the Syrah grape. The two are very distantly related, because Petite Sirah is a genetic cross between Syrah and a grape called Peloursin, but Petite Sirah is most definitely it’s own varietal. (You can also hear Petite Sirah referred to as “Durif.” Every grape averages about five different names, depending on which country you happen to be in while discussing it. It’s a real pain for the wine students!)

Petite Sirah has almost always been used for blending because it’s not a super complex grape, but it has a HUGE tannic structure on it, which can round out an unstructured or flabby wine. I appreciate Petite Sirah quite a bit as a single varietal – it falls into my category of “wines with booty.” We’ll review one in the next few weeks!

Anyway, back to the Sexual Chocolate. The wine definitely has rich flavors and a silky mouth feel that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I wasn’t wowed by it, but it was definitely a pleasure to drink with my friends. And I think that’s what the guys at Slo Down Wines were probably going for.

Rating: Weeknight Wine. Place of Purchase: Grateful Red in Arlington, VA. Retail Price: $25

Also is this not the best cork ever?