Cover art for podcast Unreserved Wine Talk

Unreserved Wine Talk

238 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


109: How to Pair Wine and Chocolate with Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning

Where can you find the best chocolate? What's the difference between candy and real chocolate? How can you pair wine and chocolate? What does Fair Trade mean and what should you look out for? Where can you find the best chocolate?

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with New York Chocolate Sommelier Roxanne Browning.

You can find the wines we discussed at


  • Why should you consider a trip to the Ecuadorian rainforest?
  • What parallels can you find between wine and chocolate?
  • In which regions can you find the best quality cacao?
  • What is heirloom cacao?
  • How can you identify real chocolate?
  • Can you access artisanal chocolate from around the world?
  • Why do you notice fruit-forward notes in real chocolate?
  • What do you need to know about selecting and serving chocolate?
  • How can you restore the taste of chocolate that wasn't properly tempered?
  • What can you do to support fair wages and working conditions for cacao farmers?
  • What health benefits can you enjoy from real chocolate?
  • How can chocolate help you lose weight?
  • Which wines can you pair with real chocolate?
  • Why does texture play such an important role in your chocolate experience?


Key Takeaways
  • Roxanne found several similarities between wine and chocolate, from the importance of terroir and they’re grown to not being overly manipulated when being made. Even the parallel between using sugar and dairy to mask poor cacao beans is similar to using oak and high alcohol to cover up poor grapes.
  • Cacao beans are fruit, not legumes or vegetables because they grow on trees, and therefore also have varying degrees of acidity like wine.
  • Roxanne gives great advice for serving chocolate like cheese - let it come up to room temperature to appreciate the aromas and flavours.
  • Buy Direct Trade chocolate when you can to support farmers more fully.


About Roxanne Browning

As an entrepreneur, Roxanne Browning merged two passions - chocolate and wine. Ultimately, a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest, where she harvested cacao and witnessed first hand how the noble cacao pod transforms into a chocolate bar. By empowering cacao farmers to lift themselves out of poverty, they reinvest back into their land, communities, feed and educate their children.

Founded in 2010, Exotic Chocolate Tasting, Inc. is a Certified WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and a Certified New York State Women-owned business. This original idea of terroir-driven chocolate paired with wine showcases Roxanne's knowledge and experience with guests while they enjoy their two favourite pleasures.



To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit the


Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Unreserved Wine Talk


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens