For the Love of Basketball, Wine & Astor Chocolate

1 Atl Hawks

When the Atlanta Hawks played the Phoenix Suns, I was perched atop a stool in the Astor Chocolate Suite with a fantastic view of the game and a lovely spread of Wine and delicious Chocolates. I was there with several members of the Atlanta Food Bloggers’ Society as well as a select group of creative Hawks fans for a true VIP experience.

2 wine and scoreboard

The spirit of the night was obviously about the love of Hawks Basketball but the game was enhanced by this uniquely styled wine and chocolate tasting event. Before we stepped into the chocolate arena, we tamed our hunger with some savory snacks. Our hosts made sure we were well fed with goodies ranging from fresh cut veggies & dip to sandwiches, wings, chips and popcorn.

3 Astor Chocolate

I admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been inside Philips Arena for a Hawks game. Most sporting events I see are from the seat of my couch in our living room or while hanging out in a sports bar. The setting in the suite was a perfect diversion from the norm.

4 Astor Chocolate

Our hosts for the evening were Rich Ezra, Chief Disruption Officer at Creative Chemistry and Jacklyn Robertori, resident Sommelier-in-Training and Marketing Manager at Astor Chocolate. From them, I learned some interesting facts about the company and indulged very responsibly in some of their rich confections and the wines chosen to pair with each.

5 Astor moodicons

I learned that Astor Chocolate has been around for over 60 years which is interesting because I’ve never heard of them. Not that I know all chocolatiers or anything but they’ve sort of been front and center all this time. We just didn’t know it. Have you ever stayed at a hotel where they offered turn down service with a little chocolate treat left on the pillow? Astor. Have you ever wondered where some gourmet retailers get their gourmet chocolates?

Astor Chocolate offers private label service and they also work with all the major sports teams. They’re a really big deal and I’m so happy to have finally officially “met” them.

6 Astor Programs

Besides arranging fun wine tastings, Astor Chocolate has been showing other Public Displays of Confection to consumers. They’re coming up with some pretty cool packaging designs like their “Breaking Bad” and periodic table inspired label for their line of {in}gredients bars featuring “ingredients infused into a broad spectrum of flavor profiles.” There are Moodibars (see cute pic above), Coffee Break and Sweet Beatz with wrappers that mimic cassette tapes. It sounds like their marketing team has a lot of fun at work right?

The company has two locations, one in Lakewood, NJ; the other in Napa Valley, CA. The candy we tasted came from their Napa Valley Facility which contains ingredients found in that region. We sampled Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles paired with a Louis M. Martin Cabernet Sauvignon and a Dark Chocolate Fig Truffle paired with a Mark West Pinot Noir. One of the things Rich mentioned early on is that when it comes to pairing, choose what you love. I am more of white wine drinker, but with these chocolates, I wouldn’t hesitate to pour red. It was absolutely worth trying.

7 Astor Chocolate

Our white wine pairings were accompanied by a Passion Fruit Truffle and a White Chocolate with Strawberry Jam filled Truffle. Yes they were as rich as they sound. My favorite was the Passion Fruit. These go well with Prosecco and Riesling. We were encouraged to first drink a bit of the wine, take a bite of the truffle and then take a second drink of the wine. Let me just say that doing the wine-truffle-wine dance is awesome! You must try it.

If you’re totally distracted from the fact that this experience happened at an Atlanta Hawks Game, I understand. Imagine the tug of war I had to deal with. Watch the game or eat chocolate. See them score or sip wine. {Sigh}. It was a tough job, but I was glad to do it. And, just so you know, our guys won!

Phoenix: 90  Hawks: 103

To learn more about Astor Chocolate

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photos of chocolates were provided by: Astor Chocolate

Disclosure:  Tickets to the Hawks Basketball Game, refreshments, chocolates and wine were provided by Astor Chocolate. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are based on my own personal experience. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here

More about Teresa

I am a born and raised Georgia Peach, lover of Food and how it brings people together, a woman of Faith and die-hard Inspiration sponge.

3 thoughts on “For the Love of Basketball, Wine & Astor Chocolate

  1. Melissa

    It looks like a wonderful time. You can’t go wrong with chocolate, wine and basketball!

    Reply

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