Reviewer’s Note: Samples of the products discussed here were provided to me for reviewing purposes at no cost.
Valentine’s Day is often characterized by certain time-honored food- and drink-based rituals. Champagne toasts and chocolate-dipped strawberries might be amazing and never go out of style, but there’s no harm in shaking things up every now and again. You know: Variety, “spice of life,” and so on. A recent product pairing that I was invited to sample illustrates how easy it can to keep your menu exciting this February 14th.
Nocciolata by Rigoni di Asiago is a rich chocolate-hazelnut spread crafted in Italy. A certified organic product, it’s a tasty, healthy step up from traditional dipping chocolate, and is produced using carefully selected ingredients, including dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts, and Bourbon vanilla extract. This is a fragrant product that makes a more refined first impression than I’ve encountered in similar hazelnut spreads. Sampled with shortbread cookies, toasted flour tortilla wedges, spread on cubed red velvet cake, and yes, as a filling for hulled strawberries, Nocciolata revealed versatility enough to make its usage potential feel endless.
Partida Tequila Añejo is a clean-tasting golden-hued spirit that ages 18 months in one-pass Jack Daniels American oak barrels. Faint fruit notes whispering through woody, peppery aromatics full of spice shaped my introduction to this tequila. On tasting, it revealed a full-bodied smoothness that carried those spicy aromas through to the palate and delivers a long and satisfying finish. Bringing with these a potent alcohol presence that warms without astringency, this is a spirit intended for slow sipping and savoring.
Partida Tequila Añejo‘s clean, fruit-laced taste and notable finish make an inspired pairing with Nocciolata‘s nutty flavor and velvety texture. Anyone tired of celebrating with the same old sparkling wines and boxed chocolates this Valentines’s Day will find much to appreciate in this well-matched duet.