I was lucky to receive two complimentary tickets to the Wine and Chocolate tasting at William Curley on June 23rd in Belgravia. William Curley has always been a favorite of mine, and I was incredibly excited to have my favorite chocolates paired with some great wine.
We were greeted with a glass of Champagne Moutard by the sommelier and co-host Robert Giorgione, who later guided us through the wine tastings. The champagne was accompanied by some lovely savory canapés, including mini gourmet pizzas and various crostini.
William started off the evening by giving us a brief overview of the chocolate production process, and later a bit of insight into his career as a chocolatier. A French-trained patissier, he’s worked with some of the biggest names in the London food scene over the years, including Raymond Blanc, Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White. Upon opening his first shop in Richmond in 2004 with his wife Suzue, (a patissier originally from Japan) William initially focused his efforts mainly on wonderful patisserie creations. A few years and another shop later, the focus has been re-shifted to chocolate (but there are still some great choices on offer at the dessert bar – don’t miss them!).
Robert proceeded to guide us through the following six wine and chocolate pairings, with William offering us tasting notes and explaining the creation of each chocolate. A passion fruit and mango chocolate was paired with a lovely 2007 Saint Clair ‘Pioneer Block 12’ Gewurtztraminer from Marlborough, which worked incredibly, (and surprisingly) well. We moved on to an apricot and wasabi chocolate paired with a Moscato D’Asti, Michele Chiarlo from Piedmont. I’m usually not that adventurous when it comes to chocolate, and tend to stick to my favorite sea salt caramels and pure dark chocolate – but this combination was absolutely fantastic. The apricot provided a nice complement to the subtle spiciness of the wasabi, and the slight effervescence of the wine along with its apricot and peach notes matched the chocolate nicely. Next we tasted an orange and black muscat from Andrew Quady in California, paired with an orange and balsamic vinegar chocolate and Chuao chocolate, respectively. I had never tasted a muscat from the US before, and found both wines to be incredibly delicious, (and at £11.50, surprisingly affordable). We finished off the evening with a Piedmont hazelnut chocolate paired with a Quinta Do Noval LBV Port and my favorite sea salt caramel chocolate with a Marsala.
My guest and I both had a wonderful evening and would gladly return for one of the many chocolate events and courses offered at William Curley. The event was limited to approximately 20 people, which provided for an intimate evening and allowed us to chat with both William and Robert about the wine and chocolate in a bit more detail.
Tickets for the event were £55 per person for 2+ hours of guided tastings.
198 Ebury Street
London SW1W 8UN