Tasting Notes, Nueva Casa de los Padres

In the latest offer letter, Paul quoted me as saying “really good raw chocolate”.

We had been tasting the wines for the current release and I was just saying whatever popped into my head.  What I actually said about the Nueva Casa de los Padres, was that it reminded of artisan chocolate.  And then I retracted the words as quickly as I spoke them.  Why?

Because like a zillion other people (do a google search on “artisan mass produced food”), it occurred to me that the word artisan has been diluted…by Burger King, Pillsbury, Domino’s, etc.  It no longer carries the weight of what it was supposed to mean.

Ok, for you guys on the mailing list and reading the blog, you would get it, you would know what I meant, but then I thought, maybe you would think I was being trite.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but on our last trip to Chicago, I spent $98 at Fox & Obel on chocolate.  Yes, chocolate.  Really good, small batch, hand made, artisan, bla bla bla, chocolate.  And it was gooooood.  So good.

When we tasted thru the wines, the Nueva Casa reminded me of a couple of those chocolates, the really raw and natural tasting ones without all the additives and thickeners and junk that “kid chocolate” has.

–side bar on “kid chocolate”–

My very first job out of high school was at The Dime & Dollar in Oakland.  My boss and owner of the store, Hunter McCreary, clued me in to the difference between “the good stuff” and “kid chocolate”.  Because we were a dime store, there was a giant candy section with the usual sweets.  Then, when Valentine’s Day would roll around, he set up a grown up chocolate area on the counter by the register, out of reach of the school kids.  They were pricey chocolates, but bittersweet and oh so good.  I was too young to know it at the time, but he would be a significant personality in my life guiding me toward future foodie geekhood.  He was a great first boss, mentor, and lifelong friend.