The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2014

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Page 38 of 136

38  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2014 The Naughty Sure you've had to take your belt buckle out a notch or two since Thanksgiving—it's still December, and there's time to sneak in a few more indulgencies before chowing down kale and resolving to do more yoga. And the only thing better than a carnal indulgence is one that comes with a boozy side of chocolate bliss—or an illicit kiss. Pretty with speckles, sparkles and spirals, Moonstruck Chocolate does it again with their spirits-driven Oregon Distillers collection, which pairs Oregon's best spirits with crafted choco- late flavors, like the indulgent Bull Run Temperance Trade Bourbon Truffle or the surprising House Spirits Distillers Aquavit Truffle—and don't even get us started on the Bendistillery Crater Lake Pepper Vodka Truffle, which blends ivory and dark choco- late with the five spice–loaded vodka to result in a sweet treat with a kick that's sure to offer a pretty and perfect pairing. But if chocolate is too tame for your truly wild side, we've got you covered with a little tie me up and spank me spice, thanks to 50 Shades of Grey Red Satin and White Silk. An homage to the eponymous book, these wine offerings are sure to be a hit among the Christian Grey devotees, who will surely clamor to their closest retailer to prepare for the upcoming film's Valentine's Day release. In the meantime, slip into something sexy and get your naughty on with these very nice wines. The Nice If you've managed to make it through the holidays without diving mouthfirst into a pile of mashed potatoes, congrats! You're on your way to continued waistline management in 2015— but hey: Live a little, won't ya? If you'd like to temper your naughty side by serving it with a side of fruit, Queen Creek Olive Mill's Pinot Noir Chocolives and Cabernet Blueberry Chocolives are the perfect treats for you. Made from wine-bathed fruit and then covered in milk choco- late, these sweet treats are part wine paring, part indulgence and 100 percent delicious. But when it comes to being nice, noth- ing's more pleasant than a great product at a great price. This holiday season, Marketplace is awarding its Retailer's Choice award to Sutter Home Red Blend, a wine that over delivers on the palate and wows at a price point that's—you guessed it!—quite nice. Naughty or Nice By the time you' read this, Santa's lis are probably prey complete, so it's time to face the music: Are you naughty or nice? Whichever side of the coal-expecting divide you're on, Marketplace has some deliciously naughty and downright nice options to get you through the retail holidays and ready to kick off 2015 with a bang. by Rachel Burkons Juicy red berries and sun-ripened cherries give way to creamy, silky smooth baked vanilla notes; bal- anced softness, lush and plush, with a distinct spice note running through the finish. A wonderful surprise from sip to savor. 91

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