Ever done a pairing? If the question sounds vaguely sexual, you might want to play that up when the routine suggestions of where to go for happy hour or a casual date fail to inspire.
As unlikely as it sounds, Sugar Factory—that Strip magnet for reality TV stars and the tweeners who XOX them—has added a very grown-up wine and chocolate pairing flight available only in its semi-secret fondue bar, now known as the Chocolate Lounge and Wine Bar.
- Sugar Factory Chocolate Lounge and Wine Bar
- Paris, 331-5100.
- Daily 5 p.m.-4 a.m.
The first menu ranges from a very mineral, tart Loire Sancerre (nicely balancing some silky white chocolate) to a juicy, spice-edged Santa Barbara Pinot Noir (matched with Gianduja and almonds). Other uncommon selections include an earthy, floral Argentinian Torrontes (paired with another Gianduja for a very different result), a softly intense Spanish Garnacha (coaxing coconut and berry notes out of some pure dark chocolate) and a plum-cherry-pepper South African Pinotage that brought a lot of new notes out of some Belgian-style milk with hazelnuts. All the chocolates come from Lebanon’s esteemed Verdun.
“My concept was to take our guests on a whimsical journey around the globe,” says Sugar Factory General Manager Roy Saunders, “to visit and sample unique wines from regions off the beaten path, and further the experience by pairing with handmade and unique chocolates.”
You can choose one pairing from the menu for $8 (for about 2 ounces of wine and 1 ounce of chocolate), but really, you want to try all six combinations (which will change monthly) for a rather reasonable $28. It’s about expanding your horizons. It’s about experimentation. It’s about … okay, it’s just wine and chocolate. Anything that happens after that is your business.