Talking Chocolate: What we take for granted // Mise Magazine

Chocolate is everywhere. The corner bodega. 7-11. Whole Foods. Starbucks. That place in the mall with the impossibly-huge dipped strawberries. That super-fancy specialty shop that just opened in your of-the-moment neighborhood. Odds are, no matter where you are, chocolate is there, in high-or-lowbrow form. We eat it, we drink it, we paint it on our naked partners. It’s ubiquitous with holidays and casual snacking alike.

So, how do we talk about talk about something we take for granted?

I investigate this with Harvard post-doc fellow Carla Martin and Rogue Chocolate Chocolatier Colin Gasko for Mise Magazine here.

Mise Magazine & The Language of Flavor

Think about biting into an apple. Think about how sweet it is, how juicy it is. Think about the bitterness of the skin against the ripeness of the sugars, how long its flavor lingers on your tongue, how much it makes you salivate. Think about its flavor.

Now tell me about it. Sell it to me. Make me want it. Here’s the catch: you don’t know me. You don’t know if I like apples. You don’t know if I’ve ever had an apple, and I’m not going to tell you one way or the other. I might say I love apples. This might be a lie. What does it taste like? And no, you can’t say ‘apple.’

Sell it to me.

You have thirty seconds.

That last bit is unique to my position as the Wine Director for a busy restaurant. But the rest of it – the steady hunt for the true language of flavor – is a pursuit shared by sommeliers, chefs, bartenders, brewmasters, coffee roasters and anyone else whose craft depends on an ability to convince strangers why they absolutely, positively, must taste this.

I’ve been on the hunt for a while now, and I still stutter. We all do, somehow. So, in the interest of cultivating some kind of collective flavor-lingo intelligence, I’m calling in the reserves. Ezra Star is the general manager at Drink, the subterranean cocktail bar in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood and recipient of the Tales of the Cocktail’s Best Bar in the World Award. Drink’s concept 86s the cocktail menu and the back bar and thus, all points of reference for guests. Want something to drink? You’re going to have to tell her about it first.

Read More

Drink Pink. I'm lookin' at you, Mister.

In the spirit of summer, I penned an overview of my current rosé crushes for the online men's journal, Gear Patrol. The intro is below, and you can peruse the rest of the pink on the Gear Patrol site here.

Fill your glass, gentlemen: rosé season is upon us, and while we generally advocate for consumption of pink wine year round, the same warm weather that begs for draping oneself in white linen and opening too many shirt buttons demands the freshness of a crisp, vibrant rosé. Fortunately, the world of wine is finally in recovery from its post-traumatic-White-Zinfandel disorder, leaving breathing room for rosés that are some of the most versatile, dependable and flat-out desirable wines out there. In the spirit of good will and BBQ, we’ve put together a list of a few of our favorites along with some quick food pairing ideas.