November 16th: Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Mulled Wine
Like London buses we have no ChocolateMission drink reviews for months and then two come along at once :-) Indeed building on my Thorntons Chocolate Liqueur review from last Friday I today bring you my thoughts on one of Hotel Chocolat's newest products for their Christmas 2012 range, their Hotel Chocolat Cocoa Mulled Wine Sachets.
Before I launch into my review today I would like to give you the heads up that I am by no means a wine conniseur - far from it in fact!! My expertise in the field of wine is probably equivalent to that of a vegan judging a steak competition so please bare this in mind before taking my review too seriously.
That said I did this all properly and I can assure you there were no corners cut short when it came to making my batch of mulled wine. As you can see from the photos the contents of the Hotel Chocolat pouch contained 3 teabag like sachets. These pouches smelt so good and immediately set a festive tone with scents of fruits and spices ever forthcomig.
To make the wine I combined the pouches with a bottle of wine into a large pan and brought the liquid to the point of simmering. At this point I then stirred in a few tablespoons of sugar to sweeten the taste and then left it on the heat for a further 5 minutes. I then removed the pan from the hob and left the wine to stand for 10 minutes. After this I then removed the sachets from the pan and poured my wine back into the bottle (via my trust pyrex jug!) and left it to further stand for a few hours.
Later that evening I then poured a large glass back into the pan to re-heat before serving - finally I got around tasting it. As I said above I'm no wine expert so please take these next few comments with a very large pinch of salt - I liked what I tasted! Before I made up the mulled wine I tasted it 'straight' so I could ascertain what these sachets were bringing to the table. Comparing the two the mulled wine was far sweeter, and had elements of warming spices, zesty fruits and yes indeed chocolate ! To be more specific the main influences on the taste were cinnamon, ginger, orange and cocoa. I could unfortunately also detect a hint of cloves, though in the myriad of different flavours it wasn't a deal breaker in terms of my enjoyment.
Overall I would classify my first ever attempt at mulled wine as successful though I'm not sure it is a process that I'm keen on repeating anytime soon. In terms of the effort required to make the drink with the eventual payoff, personally speaking it didn't do enough for me to convince me that it was worth all the faff. That said if I wanted to make a special drink for friends or family at Christmas, these Hotel Chocolate Cocoa Mulled Wine Pouches would certainly be in my thoughts especially if I knew the audience were fans of chocolate (and who isn't!!). If you are planning on making mulled wine in the next week have a go making it with these and let me know what you think on Twitter @Chocmission - there must be some experts out there!
8.0 out of 10