December 13, 2012 at 15:10 PM EST
Calgary Chocolate Company Cococo Chocolatiers Wins International Chocolate Award
ROSEMARY FUSION Silver Award Winning Milk Chocolate Bar flavoured with Rosemary, Thyme, and Habanero Sea Salt

CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/13/12 -- "It's something new, we're inviting people to experience chocolate as a food together with flavours they probably won't expect," says Derrick Tu Tan Pho, Maitre Chocolatier for Cococo Chocolatiers-the Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut Company. The tablette chocolate won a Silver Medal in the Flavoured Milk Chocolate Bar category at the 2012 International Chocolate Awards in London. "It is a real honour for Cococo to be recognized from among more than 600 entries," adds the chocolatier.

Resolving to experience Rosemary Fusion for the New Year is a bit daring but a great way to ring in 2013. "We know that people will probably love it or hate it because it's bold, and that's okay," predicts Kristen Halpen, Marketing Manager for Cococo. "Chocolate is like wine. Different palettes like different tastes, and part of the fun is searching for combinations that work," adds Halpen. Rosemary Fusion combines world famous Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut milk chocolate with the herbal tastes of rosemary and thyme, and is hand-finished with Habanero sea salt. At 100 grams, each tablette is just the right size for sharing and it's perfect for pairing with your favourite wine - especially sparkling wines. More unusually, Rosemary Fusion also pairs well with charcuterie items like cured meats, mild creamy cheeses, nuts, and gourmet breads and crackers.

Shelley Boettcher, Executive Editor of Wine Access magazine, Wine Columnist and author of Uncorked: The Definitive Guide to Alberta's Best Wines $25 and Under, has previewed the unique product and offered enthusiastic recommendations about pairings. Boettcher says that "Semi-dry Rieslings are a natural with hot chilis, because of their acidity and the fact they are somewhat sweet. Try with a bite of dried apricot, a bite of Brie and a bite of the chocolate. Mmm..."

Or you can even enjoy the chocolate with a fruity beer, "Those sparkly, sweet notes go well with the chocolate's spicy zing," adds Boettcher.

Rosemary Fusion will be sampled at participating Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut stores across Canada next week and will go on sale December 26-just in time for the New Year... and the making of bold resolutions.

About Cococo Chocolatiers, the Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut Company

Based in Calgary Alberta, Cococo Chocolatiers Inc. operates eight corporate stores in Calgary, one in Banff and two in Victoria, British Columbia. Cococo Chocolatiers Inc. also supports 21 other stores run by independent dealers throughout Canada and the USA. The company employs over 100 people. All products are handcrafted using all-natural, preservative-free ingredients. They offer the finest chocolate products under the Cococo and Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut brands. For more information please visit: www.CococoChocolatiers.com or www.bernardcallebaut.com

About the International Chocolate Awards

The International Chocolate Awards is a new competition set up to recognize the best fine quality chocolate from around the world. The awards are designed to reflect international tastes and offer a level playing field for international entries. The judging panel is made up of experts, food journalists and pastry chefs from the host country, overseen by a Grand Jury who travel to each competition.

Wine and Spirit Pairings by Shelley Boettcher

Reislings

Charles Smith, 2011 Kung Fu Girl Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington)Sweet-tart fruity notes of citrus and nectarine make this Riesling a perennial favourite. Serve chilled.About $20 a bottle.

Lingenfelder, 2010 Bird Label Riesling (Pfalz, Germany)This delicious Riesling pairs well with prosciutto and soft cheeses,as well as spicy dishes. That's why it's the perfect pairing for a charcuterie and cheese platter with a slab of Cococo's Rosemary Fusion. Serve chilled. About $18.

Gunderloch, 2010 Fritz's Riesling (Rheinhessen, Germany)This zingy German Riesling offers bright, citrusy notes, and enough sweetness and acidity to put a smile on the face of any grownup who tries a sip with a bite of Cococo's Rosemary Fusion. Serve chilled. About $16.

For a different take on White Wine:

Lillet (Bordeaux, France)This aperitif wine is made from a combination of white wines, citrus liqueurs and a Peruvian tree bark. It's refreshing and slightly sweet, with notes of candied orange peel and flowers. Serve chilled. About $18.

And for those who love Red Wine with their Chocolate:

Mezzomondo 2010 Negroamaro (Puglia, Italy)Made from the Negroamaro grape, this very affordable red (about $10) has herbal, blackberry jam, spice and chocolate notes. It's made for Puglia's spicy cuisine, which is why it works so well with this chocolate.

Tormaresca, 2010 Paiara (Puglia, Italy)A Negroamaro-Cabernet Sauvignon blend, this red has soft tannins, cherry and allspice notes; it will pair with meats, hard cheeses and Cococo's Rosemary Fusion chocolate. About $13.

Planeta 2010 La Segreta (Sicily, Italy)A blend of mostly Negroamaro, plus Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, this wine can stand up to the heat from the habaneros, yet it won't lose the subtlety of the rosemary. Red, easy to drink, about $18.

Beers

Liefmans Fruitesse fruit beer (Belgium) is super-refreshing and low-alcohol (about 4.2 percent) has notes of cherries, raspberry and elderberry. Those sparkly, sweet notes go well with the chocolate's spicy zing. About $3 a bottle.

Fruli Strawberry Beer (Belgium) is low-alcohol (4.1 percent) and loaded with bubbly strawberry fruit notes that don't overpower the heat of the chocolate. About $3 a bottle.

Contacts:
Peak Communicators
Shael Gelfand
403.276-7860 x 1 or Cell: 403.818-8849
sgelfand@peakco.com

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