It started out as a fairly standard visit to a package store. The family and I went in to buy some Mike's Hard Lemonade and a couple of sixpacks of beer, but on the way out a big display of wine bottles filled with brown stuff caught our eyes.
It was Chocovine. The display read, "The Great Taste of Dutch Chocolate and Fine Red Wine."
Lynnafred, Maryanne, and I looked at the display for a long time. We felt like the simian protohumans staring at the Monolith in the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Eventually, curiosity got the best of me, and I put a bottle on the belt at the register. "I can't believe you're going to buy that," Lynnafred said. "You know it's going to suck."
"I know," I replied, "And I'm going to find out just how badly. Besides, look at it. It's chocolate and red wine and there's a windmill and tulips on the label. This is kitsch at its drunken finest."
Because this is an alcoholic beverage, there's no requirement to list ingredients on the label, but the back of the bottle does mention that Chocovine is "Grape wine with artificial flavor, cream, and artificial colors." Even diluted with the cream in the bottle, Chocovine comes in at 28 proof, so I kind of doubt that they're using any extra-fine quality ingredients. Weasel words like "The taste of dutch chocolate" (instead of, you know, "real dutch chocolate") and the mention of artificial flavors pretty much guaranteed that we were in for more lulz than lusciousness.
And that's exactly what you get. Chocovine tastes like cheap chocolate milk spiked with cherry cough syrup and vodka. Good, I guess, for a tossing a shot of dessert, or for mixing some kind of sticky cocktail that the "bartender" could serve in a martini glass and call an insert-douchey-drink-name-here-tini.
Chocovine's website tells about the awards they've won and the fine Cabernet wine they select to blend into their product. I'm sure every word is the truth. Most laughable of all, though, is this quote:
The right chocolate paired with the perfect wine can create a near-orgasmic taste experience. But the wrong wine opposite a too-sweet chocolate creates nothing but horror. Many have taken the challenge...and have failed.
I promise you I'm not making that up..
We did manage to find a food pairing that seemed to work as well as could be expected: Yes, that's a DOUBLE DOWN there.