More Reasons to
Love Cheese, Wine
and Chocolate...
Wine bar in the sand.
Is there a better combo???
August 25, 2006

The Hilton knew just the ‘welcome’ to give me when I arrived. I passed by a sign that had a couple of my favorite words on it:
wine and chocolate. The geniuses here have a night geared towards pairing these two things.

Now this kind of thing does not happen every night…only Thursday nights. And just my luck, this happened to be a Thursday!

Ohhh…my taste buds were already getting revved up.

I called to make a reservation. They were already booked.
What??? I never even imagined that this was a possibility. I don’t
know if my taste buds would forgive me. The good news was that I could go for the second best thing...and that would be the
cheese and wine pairing. When I started thinking about it, this really was not such a bad consolation prize after all.

As I relaxed on a chair watching the sun go down, one of the girls who works here tapped me on the shoulder. She came
bearing great news. There was a cancellation and I would be able to do the chocolate and wine pairing after all. She even told
me that she kept trying to call my room to get a hold of me and then started looking around for me to tell me this. She clearly
could tell how heartbroken I initially was when she first told me about all of the spots for the evening being filled…

I arrived at The Wine Bar (sans footwear as it is not necessary when the floor is sand) – it consisted of one communal table for
twelve people in a dimly lit wine cellar.

I felt I would be doing this place a disservice if I did not take advantage of their over-100 cheeses. I opted for the small cheese
platter where the wine-sommelier (not the technical name but this is basically what he was) selects some cheeses after hearing
what your likes/dislikes are. After telling him (semi-hard to hard cheeses), he then suggested a wine to pair with this (a
Malbec). I feel it my duty to write the actual cheeses out so that I do not forget what they were (especially because they were
relatively unknown to me). I was served a platter of four different types: a French cheese called ‘Trappe d’Echourgnac’, a
Swiss cheese called ‘Appenzeller Extra', a type of brie (that I forgot to write down) and another cheese from Switzerland (the
Valais region) that translates to ‘Monk’s Head’ – Tete de Moine. The last one was absolutely delicious – it came shaved and
looked like some sort of flower.

My eating schedule was in sync with the two couples around me. We were all ready for our chocolate at the same time. Our
platters came out consisting of three different small chocolate desserts. In addition, there were also three different blocks of
chocolate and then three different wines. The first pairing was the pear and chocolate consommé, a Dominican Republic piece
of chocolate and a Muscat wine. The next pairing was a chocolate and praline mille feuille, a Cuban piece of chocolate and a
French wine (that leaned more towards Merlot than Cabernet). And the last pairing was an opera cake, a Tanzanian piece of
chocolate and a sherry-like wine.

The whole experience was great.
So great that I stayed longer and drank with a two of the other couples. I even tried to leave
at one point but then Owen and Hayley got me another glass of wine. It was a great night with great food spent with great

Though the combination of practically stumbling home at 1:30am this morning and having my sister call me at 6am to say
‘Happy Birthday’ before she left for New York did not make for such a great morning…
Back to Maldives.