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SIPS     .   .   .


CHOCOLATS DU CALIBRESSAN SWEETS FOR PERFECT HOLIDAY WINE PAIRING

by Bonnie Carroll

Jean-Michel Carre and wife Jill-Marie, owners of Chocolats du CaliBressan, opened their doors in Santa Barbara, California in 2007. Jean-Michel's original designs and sensational chocolate recipes quickly earned him recognition as the finest French chocolatier of the American Riviera. His sweet sensation designs are considered works of art by his devoted customers, and the quality of his chocolate is exceptional.

Jean-Michel was born and raised in France, where he acquired his Chocolate skills at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Pâtisserie. French fine chocolate making is a well known art in cities like Paris and Vienna, but today local Santa Barbara residents, and visitors alike, are privileged to enjoy fine chocolate gourmand surprises all year long.

The impressive corporate designs Jean-Michel creates for business clients are recognized, and savored by everyone. A gift box of chocolates from Chocolats du CaliBressan is recognized by those in the know as a gift of extremely fine chocolate, and it is a gift that is always highly appreciated. These corporate little sweets are often served by event planners at area client sponsored events, and seen as the perfect finishing touch to a luncheon or dinner. During the Christmas holidays Jean Michel labors creating his signature Christmas Tree design, a colorful and delicious chocolate arrangement to grace any holiday business or family event.

Locals know and love Jean-Michel's special event designs, including the Chocolate and Avocado Truffles he serves at the Annual Avocado Festival each year, as well as his signature French Bisous, red lips made with dark and milk ganache with tangerine, which is a favorite all year round, but especially on Valentine's Day. Others include the Buddha Beauty, a truffle amulet filled with soft salted caramel that comes with instructions to lick his belly for good luck. His career path has included 30 years in the kitchens of restaurants in France, Switzerland and the U.K., and his success is surely the result of his passion for making fine artistic chocolates.

Their chocolate kitchen is located in the Chocolats du CaliBressan in Carpinteria, and is a wonderland of sweet delights, where Jean-Michel experiments daily with unique ingredients to fill special client requests. The salon on State Street and Figueroa in Santa Barbara is a magical venue, featuring cases filled with a bevy of his unique creations, where they now serve home-made hot chocolate, gelato along with beautiful personally designed chocolate gift boxes.

Pairing wine with chocolate is a natural inclination, and can be a delightful marriage if you understand the basics. Below are few tips from a few authorities on this sweet combination to help make your season bright. "Wine and chocolate can go together, but you need to match sweetness with sweetness, so avoid trying to pair a dry red wine (like Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir) with chocolate, and instead look to some great dessert wines, like Vintage Port and Madeira from Portugal, or sweeter versions of sherry from Spain. These wines bring a natural sweetness, balanced by fresh acidity, to help keep up with the sweetness of the chocolate you're enjoying, while also cleaning off your palate so you're ready for the next bite!"—Thomas Pastuszak. White chocolate and ice wine is another great pairing. There are also a few domestic red dessert wines like late harvest zinfandel and black muscat that are delicious accompaniments."—Jamie Kaloustian.

        

Dark chocolate with wine is a natural pairing, and some say the full robust reds like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon have similar flavor profiles to exotic chocolates with notes of red berry, oak and even tobacco at times. The distinct tasting experience of an extra fine chocolate with a glass of Sweet Spot Cabernet is appreciated by many, and Brander Cuvee Natalie 2014 or Korbel Sweet Rose are lovely options with chocolate.Doug Margerum created an Italian style appertif Amaro that pairs very nicely with chocolate. Clos du Bois Shiraz 2012, Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Syrah-Shiraz 2014 or Ficklin Vintage Port also come highly recommended to enjoy with sweet chocolate endings.

 

Travel writer Rick Steves is said to be a devotee of Jean-Michel's chocolates, and during the Cannes Film Festival the chocolate making dynamic duo delivered gift baskets to stars in attendance that included Jennifer Garner, Julian Moore, Jessica Albs, Jered Leto, Halle Berry, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake, and Cherlize Theron. “We were happy to gift baskets to A-list celebrity clients during major events,” said Jean-Michel.

For many customers a gift box of Chocolats du CaliBressan carries the same distinctive recognition as a “little blue box” from Tiffany, and will be equally appreciated by every recipient this holiday season or for any special occasion. Members of the J'adore Chocolate Club are able to receive five holiday shipments of chocolate each year between October through March, and a gift membership is also a thoughtful gift for your holiday gift recipients.

Chocolats du CaliBressan's La Arcada location is 1114 State Street, #2, the Carpinteria venue is located at 4193 Carpinteria Avenue, Suite 4. Visit: www.chococalibressan.com for hours of operation and additional details.

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Four Seasons Biltore 12 Days of Christmas

HOLIDAY COCKTAILS WITH SPIRIT

The amazing talented Ty Lounge Team at the Four Sreasons Biltmore Resort and Spa will present The Twelve Days of Christmas” a delightful collection of original cocktail recipes for guests enjoyment during the 2016 season.

Jennifer Higgins, Ty Lounge GM & Joshua Burrey, Mixologist

Joshua Burrey, Ty Lounge Mixologist and Jennifer Higgins Ty Lounge General Manager invited me to savor their creative collection of amazing Christmas cheer, and provided some tastes from new Executive Chef Marco Fossati as well.

Below are the recipes for three of their loving twelve holiday efforts for your enjoyment. The recipe cards for the twelve cocktails will also be available in the lounge for guests to take home following a warm and cozy evening in the renowned and historic Santa Barbara lounge.

1927 Original, Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Jennifer Higgins, Ty Lounge General Manager

Ingredients:

2 oz Ancho Reyes Liqueur

1 oz Kahlua

1 oz brown sugar spiced syrup

1 oz Lavazza espresso

½ oz half and half

Method:

1. Combine ingredients in cocktail mixer and shake

2. Strain into a martini glass

3. Garnish with 3 espresso beans


Cruz Manhattan, Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Joshua Burrey, Ty Lounge Mixologist

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz. Apple Pie Liqueur

1 ½ oz. Bulleit rye

¾ oz. Simple syrup

¾ oz. egg white

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Brandy marinated cherries

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients in pint glass with ice

  2. Shake and strain into a coupe glass

  3. Garnish with brandy marinated cherries.

Red Swan, Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara

Joshua Burrey, Ty Lounge Mixologist

Ingredients:

1 ½ oz. Stolichnaya Vanilla

1 oz. cranberry juice

1 oz. housemade raspberry puree

½ oz honey

Hot water

Method:

  1. Combine ingredients in specialty coffee glass

  2. Fill with hot water

  3. Garnish with house made whipped cream and finish with raspberry coulis over the top.

    Stop by the Ty Lounge throughout the holidays and sample them all!!

    SPECIAL SMALL PLATES TO ENJOY

Delicious hors d'oeuvre and small plates to enjoy with these Christmas Cheer sips include Morrocan hummus with pita bread, rich beet salad, fresh veggies, or a sweet dessert tray that will delight.

Ty Lounge

Four Seasons The Biltmore Santa Barbara Spa

1260 Channel Drive
Santa Barbara
California 93108  

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PERFECT WINE GIFT LABELS THIS YEAR

As the Holiday months draw near, we start thinking about the special things we can do for our friends and family. Gifts can sometimes be difficult to figure out, and we sometimes find ourselves wondering “what the heck should I get them”. Well why not something meaningful and personal? That is exactly what the “evermine” company had in mind, and they provide an easy but memorable way to share that personal gift.


 
“evermine” allows people to choose, design and/or produce their very own wine labels www.evermine.com/holiday_wine-labels/ZZ/

Gift Tags: www.evermine.com/holiday_gift-tags/.


 

The “evermine” website can be found: www.Evermine.com


2008
March 08 | April 08 | May 08 | June 08 | July 08 | August 08 | September 08 | October 08 | November 08 | December 08 | January 09 | February 09 | March 09 | April 09 | May 09 | June 09 | July 09 | August 09 | September 09 | October 09 | November 09 | December 09 | January 10 | February 10 | March 10 | April 10 | May 10 | June 10 | July 10 | August 10 | September 10 | October 10 | November 10 | December 10 | January 11 | February 11 | March 11 | April 11 | May 11 | June 11 | July 11 | August 11 | September 11 | October 11 | November 11 | December 11 | January 12 | February 12 | March 12 | May 12 | April 12 | June 12 | July 12 | August 12 | September 12 | October 12 | November 12 | December 12 | January 13 | February 13 | March 13 | April 13 | May 13 | June 13 | July 13 | August 13 | September 13 | October 13 | November 13 | December 13 | January 14 | February 14 | March 14 | April 14 | May 14 | June 14 | July 14 | August 14 | September 14 | October 14 | November 14 | December 14 | January 15 | February 15 | March 15 | April 15 | May 15 | June 15 | July 15 | August 15 | September 15 | October 15 | November 15 | December 15 | January 16 | March 16 | February 16 | April 16 | May 16 | June 16 | July 16 | August 16 | October 16 | September 16 | November 16 | February 08 | January 08

2007
December 07
| November 07 | October 07 | September 07 | August 07 | July 07 | June 07 | May 07
April 07
| March 07 | February 07 | January 07

2006
Dember 06
| November 06 | October 06 | September 06 | August 06 | July 06 | June 06 | May 06
April 06 | March 06 | February 06 | January 06

2005
December 05
| November 05 | October 05 | September 05 | August 05 | July 05 | June 05 | May 05
April 05 | March 05 | February 05 | January 05

© 2008 Bonnie Carroll, All Rights Reserved