When chocolate and brandy collide
As a chocoholic, I needed no introduction to the famous brand of chocolate ready for the tasting, but the brandy with chocolate simultaneously in my mouth – well that was something I was ready to explore.
Tumie Mamashela from Distell arrived at the Tladi Lodge Hotel in Sandton, after being stuck in the Johannesburg traffic, with two big boxes, one containing the brandy glasses and the other containing the liquor and chocolates. Wide eyes, all stared at him from inside the conference room as he started unpacking the glasses and quickly poured the tastings.
In front of each person were three glasses, containing small volumes of amber liquor, and a small chocolate to taste with the brandy. The anticipation of the party was clearly visible and most of us couldn’t wait to experience this taste sensation.
Tumie told us so much about brandy, from how the brandy originally was wine that was kept for far too long in the casks, to the difference between the brandy and cognac names. He also told us how brandy should be smelled and how we should taste it. Interestingly, there are many brandies available, from blended to single brandies – at a cost of course.
We had to pair each of the glasses with a specific chocolate – and my, oh my, was that an interesting taste experience. The moment when the chocolate is a soft ball in your mouth, you are supposed to take a sip of brandy and swirl both around in your mouth.
Personally, I’ll rather have the chocolate and leave the brandy to those who really enjoy premium quality brandy. The brandy is just too strong for me.
After a debate about what tastes the best, brandy or whiskey, we decided that Tumie will have to come back and do some blind tastings for us. So, watch this space if you want to find out how that went.
We ended the evening off with some delicious snacks prepared by our in-house chef, Lambert Vos.