The most delicious wine and chocolate pairings? Yes please!
Nadia El Ferdaoussi is a freelance writer, travel enthusiast and wine expert who is known for sharing her knowledge of wine with her fans on social media. In fact, Nadia is WSET Level 3 certified - an advanced level qualification for professionals working in the wine industry and for wine enthusiasts.
She's also an avid lover of the outdoors and tries to live as sustainably as possible. So, it only seemed natural that she would become a Green & Back's tastemaker, sharing her expertise on which Green & Black’s flavours go best with certain wines by using the intensity scale to make suggestions to her many followers.
Green & Black’s chocolate is wildly, deliciously, organic, taking inspiration from nature. The chocolate brand has recently launched its Intensity Scale which will feature on the new packaging of Green & Black’s Organic bars, helping chocolate lovers discover their preference as well as flavours they may have never realised they loved.
Nadia explains how becoming a Green & Black's tastemaker came about:
"I'm very passionate about food, ingredients and premium quality stuff. It's important for me to work with brands when I agree with their ethos and it's all organic, fair trade and premium quality. Our goals match so I'm really happy to be on board as one of the tastemakers. I suggested to them that I would love to pair chocolate and wine. It's kind of a dream job, really."
Nadia has been incorporating Green & Black's into her balanced and sustainable lifestyle. She says:
"I've started to use the chocolate in a couple of recipes. I've actually used the dark chocolate in a vegan chilli. I'm trying to be more sustainable and eat less meat and the dark chocolate is vegan.
"I made chocolate dipped strawberries for a picnic which was quite nice. When the weather is nice, I love having a picnic with Rosé wine and chocolate.
"My favourite thing I've gotten into recently is having a lovely bath with a glass of wine and Green & Black's dark chocolate. Living the dream."
So, what is the Intensity Scale? Nadia breaks it down for us:
"This is really handy if you're unsure of what kind of flavours that you like. A lot of people will tend to just stick with their milk chocolate, but the Intensity Scale is helpful in deciding what you're into. It's similar to wine in that when you're in-store, you can look at the packaging.
"It goes between the level of intensity in flavour but also how much cocoa is in it, and the level of sweetness. So you're starting with white chocolate which is the sweetest, going up to the 85% dark chocolate. You have everything else in between as well, like the milk chocolate and 60% dark (such as Ginger or Maya Gold). It helps if you want to pair it with wine or coffee, for example. If you're the kind of person who loves espresso, you're going to go for more intense chocolate towards the end of the scale. Or if you're someone who likes their milk in their tea, you're going to for white or milk chocolate. It helps to match your flavours and you'll probably start to realise that you like things that you were unsure about. A lot of people start around there and go darker and darker.
And here are her ideal chocolate and wine pairings:
"My favourite wine is white. I love Albariño Wine, which has a slightly salty sea influence. With that, I love the Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt. I also love the ginger with Rosé. With Guinness, I would recommend the Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut and Currant. That would also go pretty well with red wine."
And now for coffee:
"With coffee, I quite like to have porridge with a couple of squares of melted chocolate in it for breakfast. The Hazelnut and Current goes well with that. If I'm going for a stronger coffee, darker chocolate. If it's a latte, milk chocolate. An iced latte would go really well with the white chocolate. It's really creamy and quite sweet."
Green & Black's is known for being organic and fair trade. Nadia explains why that's important to her:
"I choose brands that have that ethos, especially when they're fair trade and you know the workers are being paid a fair wage. If you can do that while having a treat as well, it's a luxury. It's guilt-free."
Talking about the next few months, Nadia also tells us about her favourite outdoor activities to do in Ireland:
"Because of the 5k I was doing a lot of hiking. Once that lifted and I was able to go back to the sea, I felt like I was cheating on the mountains. My ideal thing is a jog and a swim, so to go somewhere I can do both.
"The longer you stay out, the more snack breaks you can have."
If you want to find out more about Green & Black's organic, fair trade chocolate as well as the intensity scale, you can head here.