Bonbons in the making!
The good people of CocoaVino sent us some samples, and they have properly earned my acting as a shill for them. This stuff is good. Gourmet chocolates are too often about branding and fancy talk (sometimes I’m honestly not sure I wouldn’t be happier just eating a Lindt bar, or even Peanut Chews), but CocoaVino is the real deal.
The concept might confuse you, but the Olive Oil, Hazelnut, and Sea Salt bonbons taste just about perfect. The flavor manages to be intense and somehow mild at the same time–not too sweet or salty, and all the flavors mixed just right. Plus, they look amazing, three mint green dots suspended in a glossy chocolate dome.
We also tried their Hyggelig hot chocolate mix. The name comes from a Danish word that roughly translates to “cozy.” If you like cardamom, you’ll love this stuff. It works great with soy milk (and a little whiskey, too, if you’re like me).
CocoaVino products are packed up really fancy, so they’re perfect for giving as gifts. I’d honestly feel a little stupid just buying and eating them myself; they look too nice. The company is women-owned and operated, based in New York City, and their products are about as “environmentally sensitive” as possible for nicely-packaged food with tropical ingredients shipped directly to your door: ingredients are all some combination of local, organic, and fair-trade; they use wind power for all of their electricity; and their boxes are made of 100% recycled materials.
Such delights do not come cheaply. Are the bonbons worth more than $3 each? Is any hot chocolate mix worth over $2.50 an ounce? For a lot of people, probably not. But if you’ve got money as well as taste, there are much worse ways to spend it. Unfortunately, only a few CocoaVino items are vegan, but they are clearly labeled. Hopefully they’ll make lots more vegan stuff in the future!