5 delicious chocolate and wine pairings

Fine wine and top quality chocolate make perfect partners, and when paired together offer that pleasure of a simple, deliciously indulgent moment.

Chocolate and wine pairings at Constance

Chocolate and wine pairings at Constance

Here Head Sommelier at Constance Le Prince Maurice, Jérôme Carlier, offers his tips for how to pair wine with chocolate.

1. Coeur de Guanaja 80% chocolate with Porto Red, Auinta de Infantado, Ruby

The pairing of the fruity Porto wine here with the rich, intense bitterness of the chocolate creates a beautiful balance between bitter and sweet.

2. DGF Caraibes 72% chocolate with Mas Amiel Vintage 1980, Olivier Decelle

The combination of the crisp, dark DGF Caraibes (buttons) 72% with the sweet acidity and light syrupy flavours of the Mas Amiel wine create multi-dimensional flavours of roasted walnut on the palate.

3. Valrhona Manjari 64% chocolate with Du Toitskloof Cellar Red Muscadel 2011

This pairing of the acidulous notes of red and dried fruits from the chocolate, and the rich fruit of the wine creates a full body mouth with persistence of fruit and acid on the palate.

4. Pegasus white chocolate with Pinot Gris ‘Pokiri’, late harvest, 2009

This unusual match between white chocolate and a very good Pinot Gris wine from New Zealand combines the sweetness of the chocolate with the sweetness of the Pinot Gris to create a very light flavour with notes of lychee fruit.

5. Valrhona Jivara 41% chocolate

This delectable milk chocolate with its pronounced cocoa taste and notes of malt and vanilla can be perfectly matched with all the wines listed above. With each wine it will create its own unique tasting experience.

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Smith & Family rates Constance Le Prince Maurice and Halaveli

Stylish family travel specialist Smith & Family has included Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Halaveli in its guide to the best family-friendly coastal hotels.

Smith & Family loved Halaveli's family beach villas

Smith & Family loved Halaveli’s family beach villas

Part of the Mr & Mrs Smith group, Smith & Family aims to select the very best fun, stylish hotels from around the globe to recommend to its readers with children.

Having already attracted a loyal following amongst couples seeking beautiful luxury hotels in the Indian Ocean, families are now also discovering that Constance offers much for those looking for luxury where children are also welcome.

Constance Le Prince Maurice and Constance Halaveli

Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius and Constance Halaveli, Maldives have been included in its ‘Beach in Reach’ section, which it says looked for hotels worldwide that mixed ‘buckets of fun for children with a relaxing retreat for parents’.

At Le Prince Maurice, Smith & Family were impressed by the two-bedroom family suites with a children’s bedroom complete with bunk beds and steps to the sinks in the bathroom.

Halaveli was praised for its family beach villas, which come with what it described as ‘helpful essentials’ including pushchair, cot and bottle-sterilising unit. For older families it recommended the double storey villas with pool giving parents and teenagers plenty of space to spread out.

Both hotels were recognised for the complimentary ‘fun, friendly kids club’ Constance Kids Club.

Read more on the Smith & Family website.

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5 unusual foods from Madagascar

Food in Madagascar is a gently spiced fusion of African, European and Asian culinary traditions creating a national cuisine unlike any other.

Foods from Madagascar: Royal romazava

Foods from Madagascar: Royal romazava

Here are 5 Malagasy dishes you’re unlikely to find beyond its beautiful shores.

Romazava

This is the national dish of Madagascar – a kind of stew made from zebu (beef), and sometimes pork. The meat is sautéed with ginger, garlic, tomato and onion and then left to simmer until ready to serve. It is usually served with a vary (rice) dish and sakay (a hot red pepper sauce). Check out our recipe for Royal Romazava, served at Constance Tsarabanjina.

Lasopy

This is a rich vegetable soup flavoured with veal bones. The bones are taken out before serving and the soup pureed and served in thick earthenware bowls.

Varenga

This delicious meat dish is made from slowly boiling beef with garlic and onion until it can be easily shredded and then roasted.

Vary amid ‘anana

A lightly spiced rice and vegetable dish in which the rice is cooked at the same time as a variety of vegetables, it may also sometimes include meat or fish. Again the Madagascans like to eat this with sakay pepper sauce.

Salady Voankazo

This is a popular dessert in Madagascar taking advantage of any fruit which happens to be in season including bananas, mangos, pineapples as well as strawberries and lychees. The fruit is cut up and served with a sweet syrup and vanilla extract.

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