Chocolate and Wine, Decadent and Dynamic

Chocolate and wine make a decadent and dynamic pairing on their own, but when backed by a triple threat of entrepreneurial women, the experience is that much more enjoyable. Theresa Dilworth, Tracy Ellen Kamens and Roxanne Browning have collaborated on two tasting events on the North Fork during the month of July. The events will offer locals and visitors alike the opportunity to sample unusual chocolates paired with fine wines.

Theresa Dilworth, known as “Tree,” is the owner of Comtesse Thérese Vineyard and Bistro located in Aquebogue. Comtesse Thérese is the only vineyard on Long Island to own a restaurant. Along with wines produced on site, homegrown herbs are also featured, as well as local duck, seafood and vegetables. Comtesse Thérese ( will host the first tasting event, titled “Chocolate Terroir and Tasting – 12 Chocolates,” on July 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. It will be held in a private dining room which holds only 16 guests, making the experience intimate and personal. The tasting will focus solely on the authenticity of the different types of chocolate, giving those involved an opportunity to absorb and digest all the knowledge of chocolate that is literally being fed to them! Dilworth said that although it is becoming a new trend for other vineyards to pair chocolate and wine, she wanted to stick strictly to chocolate because of the subtle differences between each savory morsel.

The lovely and indulgent chocolates come from Roxanne Browning, New York’s Chocolate Sommelier. For the first event Browning sets out to demonstrate how different factors such as geography, climate and farming practices impact the quality and characteristics of chocolate. Through 12 different examples of artisanal chocolate, an individual can learn all about the sweet, savory, sugary goodness so many of us crave. Dilworth explained that within the 12 chocolate samplings there are also mini-tastings. These demonstrate that although beans may come from the same country each could have a different taste based on the chocolate maker. Dilworth described it as being similar to wine: although the grapes may be the same, the producer makes the taste a new experience entirely.

If this event doesn’t satisfy your taste buds, a second event, titled “Classic Wines and Artisan Chocolate Pairings,” will be held on July 17, from 2 to 4 p.m. This tasting will take place at Tracy Ellen Kamens’ Grand Cru Classes. Kamens teaches in a classroom-style setting with an educational vineyard close by. Her students are given the opportunity to learn all about what goes on at a vineyard. Her Grand Cru Classes stay true to their saying, “We know vino!”

“Classic Wines and Artisan Chocolate Pairings” is a collaboration by Kamens and Browning. It will begin with a California Zinfandel and end with two wines from Portugal – Madeira and a Ruby Port. They will be accompanied by chocolates from around the world, including the Amazon region, the Far East and the two Island nations of Madagascar and Cuba.

Chocolate and wine are two of the finest pleasures in life…and thanks to these two events, your hunger for both can be fulfilled!

“Chocolate Terroir and Tasting – 12 Chocolates,” July 9 from 4-6 p.m. Comtesse Thérese, 739 Main Road, Aquebogue. 631-779-2800. $30 per guest/pre-paid.

“Classic Wines and Artisan Chocolate Pairings,” July 17 from 2-4 p.m. Grand Cru Classes, 3985 Sound Avenue, Mattituck. 631-298-1231. $75 per guest/pre-paid.


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