WINE & CHOCOLATE
For years, the media has been publicizing the health benefits of red wine. Like green tea, pomegranates and blueberries, red wine contains antioxidants that may have cardiovascular benefits. New on the health scene, jumping on the antioxidant band wagon, is dark chocolate.
Ingredients derived from the cocoa bean (like the 60% cacao featured in HERSHEY'S EXTRA DARK Chocolate) are concentrated sources of antioxidants. About 37 grams or 3 squares of this chocolate has the same amount of flavanol antioxidants as a 4 oz glass of wine, a cup of black tea or 1 and 1/3 cup of blueberries. Who knew chocolate could be so healthy? Although of course, this doesn't mean you can eat chocolate bars all day. There's still a lot of fat to worry about and Hershey's has even gone as far to put a warning of sorts on their label to curb overindulgence.
All three bars have the same chocolate base with simply different enhanced ingredients.
The Pure Dark Chocolate bar was pretty smooth with only the slightest hint of bitterness. It was not creamy or overly sweet. The texture was a bit on the chalky side.
The Pure Dark Chocolate with Cranberries, Blueberries and Almonds was the best of the bunch. The fruit complimented the texture and bitterness and the roasted almonds gave it a pleasant toasty edge.
The Pure Dark Chocolate with Macademia Nuts and Cranberries was the weakest of the three bars. The Macadamia nuts were crunchy, but tasteless, and the Cranberries just simply weren't enough to save it.
SCORE & RECOMMENDATION:
Pure Dark: B+
With Cranberries, Blueberries and Almonds: A
With Macadamia Nuts and Cranberries: C
Really nice packaging and marketing. Hershey's is ahead of the curve by getting this out in a hurry post-media blitz on antioxidants and dark chocolate. If it catches on, Hershey's could easily find itself the early leader for competitors to emulate. Visit Hershey's official site at http://www.hersheys.com/extra-dark/home.asp
So what wine goes best with chocolate? Merlot and chocolate is my favorite combination. Comment below and post your vote for your favorite wine and chocolate combination!