It’s a dream come true for chocolate lovers and oenophiles. Just in time for Thanksgiving weekend in Oregon wine country, Portland chocolatier Moonstruck Chocolate has partnered with four of the region’s most celebrated vintners — Stoller Family Estate, Sokol Blosser Winery, Montinore Estate and Erath Winery — to produce a Willamette Valley Winery Collection truffle box.
Moonstruck has been creating artisan chocolate from their factory under the St. Johns Bridge in North Portland since 1996 — everything from their Mayan truffles and pumpkin-pie truffles to their mint hot cocoa, raspberry and fennel bark bars, and sea-salt caramels. Each batch of chocolate is meticulously handcrafted: The artisans even hand-paint the cocoa-butter whiskers and noses on every single mouse truffle.
Moonstruck uses local ingredients whenever possible, including homegrown treasures such as Oregon hazelnuts and Coast-based Jacobsen Salt. Their popular Oregon Craft Brewers Collection and Oregon Distiller’s Collection complement the tasting notes of local craft beers and spirits. The addition of Willamette Valley wines to their ingredient list seems only natural.
“The Willamette Valley is producing some of the best wines in the country, so it was an obvious partnership opportunity for us,” says Joanna Hartvickson, Moonstruck’s marketing director. “Chocolate and wine is such a popular pairing. We just took the natural next step to combine them.”
Wine aficionados and newer vino fans alike may be surprised to be able to taste the distinct wine notes in each truffle. Hartvickson says the chocolate makers had found a way to keep much of the vino flavors in each bite. “We’ve maintained the integrity of each wine in the chocolate ganache,” she says. “You can enjoy each truffle with the wines themselves, or anything you would pair the varietal with.”
Packed neatly into a box that’s perfect for gifting, the truffles are designed to look like wine corks, with their cocoa-butter casings to mimic a cork’s texture. Note that because they also contain around 4% alcohol, you must be 21 or over to indulge.
Joining Moonstruck’s craft beer and spirit collections in their permanent lineup, the new truffle box includes 12 truffles, with three from each of the four featured wineries: an unoaked vintage 2016 chardonnay from Stoller Family Estate; a floral 2016 reserve gewurztraminer from Montinore Estate; the 2018 estate rose of pinot noir from Sokol Blosser Winery; and a 2016 pinot noir from Erath Winery. Just as wineries typically recommend starting with the lightest wine in the flight first, Moonstruck suggests starting with the chardonnay and ending with the pinot noir. There’s no wrong way to savor them.
If You Go:
Where to find these new wine truffles? Perhaps the most fun way is to head to wine country, where the tasting rooms at Sokol Blosser, Stoller, Erath and Montinore Estate have them available for purchase. From Portland, head south on Highway 99W to Dundee, where Sokol Blossor, Stoller and Erath are located. From Dundee, have your designated driver take you about 35 minutes north along Highway 47 until you land at Montinore in Forest Grove. Each year during Wine Country Thanksgiving, tasting rooms throughout the state open their doors for tastings, food pairings, live music, holiday pricing on bottles and more.
You can also find the truffles at any Moonstruck Café — in downtown Portland, Northwest Portland and Beaverton — or at their factory storefront under the St. Johns Bridge. They are also available for purchase (age 21 or over) through their website and in gourmet retail stores across the country.