March 18 2013 06:31 PM

Confectioner's Chocolate is a perfect red wine / cocoa mashup

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In need of dessert and a nightcap, I stopped into Gala Foods in South Park and ended up finding both of my cravings could conveniently be satiated by one bottle. While not a brand for wine purists, this slightly sweet wine was exactly what I was looking for. Simply named Confectioner's Chocolate, the under-$10 price tag was immediately appealing, the label's boast of dark-chocolate flavor promising.

The wine's scent was strong and lush as I poured a generous glass. The sugary-sweet aroma made me worried that it would be heavy and syrupy, but I was pleasantly surprised. Other chocolate wines I've tried are reminiscent of Kahlua-type liqueurs, both in their creamy flavor and cloudy appearance. Confectioner's Chocolate still looks like a red wine, and the added cocoa enhances the red-wine appeal rather than masking it.

Unexpectedly light on the tongue, the wine reminded me of a marshmallow dusted with chocolate powder or of taking a small bite of a chocolate truffle followed by a sip of a red blend. If you're comfortable with an enhanced wine, this one offers a nice, balanced sweetness while still maintaining the berry flavors most of us look for in a red wine. I probably wouldn't enjoy more than one glass of this at a time but it works well as an after-dinner treat when your favorite dessert isn't available.

Write to jenv@sdcitybeat.com and editor@sdcitybeat.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_VT.

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