Chow Town

Wine and chocolate make an excellent pair, especially when made into balls

Local wine from Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery, teamed with chocolate from Annedore’s Fine Chocolates, combine to make delicious wine balls, a treat that is only available for a few short months each fall.
Local wine from Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery, teamed with chocolate from Annedore’s Fine Chocolates, combine to make delicious wine balls, a treat that is only available for a few short months each fall. Special to The Star

Wine and chocolate make a delicious pair.

Now thanks to Holy-Field Vineyard and Winery and Annedore’s Fine Chocolates, you can taste both wine and chocolate in just one incredible bite.

The idea of wine-filled chocolate balls may be a little unfamiliar. When members of the local Les Dames d’Escoffier chapter, an international organization of professional women in the food, beverage and dining industries, visited Annedore’s chocolate shop and learned about the wine balls it makes for Holy-Field Winery, some were dubious. Member Roxanne Wyss, a local food professional, cookbook author and Chow Town blogger, was among those who questioned the combo, but just one bite transformed Wyss and the entire chapter into devoted fans.

The idea came from Michelle Meyer, owner of Holy-Field Winery in Basehor, Kan. She was inspired by the liqueur-filled chocolates that are common in Europe but wanted to use her wine. At first she sourced some chocolate from California, yet she hoped for a local source.

When she contacted Sheri Weedman, owner of Annedore’s Fine Chocolates, a beautifully adorned shop of scrumptious chocolates on State Line Road, the wine balls, locally made with fine chocolate, became a reality.

Chocolatier Rachel Freeman of Annedore’s became part of this sweet team and mastered the art of making and filling the tiny but flavor-packed confections.

The result is a win-win-win and is nothing like you have ever tasted. Pop one of these luscious wine balls into your mouth and get ready for a flavor explosion.

Annedore’s makes thousands of wine balls each fall, and all are made fresh each week. Each batch is a three-day process. It starts with filling the molds with chocolate to make the shells. Then they boil the wine into the perfect syrup, fill the shells, cap them and dip the balls in more chocolate. Once dry they are packed in elegant gift boxes.

Three flavor combinations await you. Holy-Field St. Francis Port is paired with dark chocolate. Over the Rainbow Raspberry and Yogi-Berry Blackberry wines are both combined with milk chocolate. In addition, Annedore’s makes truffles with the St. Francis Port.

Annedore’s Fine Chocolates has been creating wine balls exclusively for Holy-Field each fall for the last five years. Sheri Weedman purchased Annedore’s about eight years ago and moved it to the present location at 5000 State Line Road in Westwood Hills. The shop is filled with wonderful chocolates year round, but to get the wine balls you have to visit the winery in the fall.

Holy-Field is the oldest winery in Kansas. Meyer and her father started planting vineyards in 1986 and then opened the winery in 1994. At first she just made wine for her own use, but she kept researching the best grapes for her Kansas location and kept planting grapes, and the vineyard grew. Now Holy-Field offers several varieties of award-winning wines.

The wine balls will be available at Holy-Field beginning at its Oktoberfest, which starts Saturday. Then they will be sold in the winery’s gift shop through the holidays. Holy-Field’s Oktoberfest is from noon to 4 p.m. and will feature a German band and traditional German foods. Wine is available for tasting, and bottles will be for sale. Admission is $5. The winery is at 18807 158th St. in Basehor, and the fun of Oktoberfest makes a delightful outing for a fall day.

Pick up some wine balls while there. You might want to buy some extra, for they make great gifts. Remember, this incredible, local treat is only available for a few short months each fall.

Meyer shared one important tip when eating the wine balls. She suggested that you “consume them whole, or otherwise they will dribble.” So pop it into your mouth whole and enjoy. You might even want a second … or more.

Kathy Moore is one of two cookbook authors and food consultants who make up the Electrified Cooks. Her most recent cookbook is “Slow Cooker Desserts: Oh So Easy, Oh So Delicious!” “The Newlywed Cookbook: Cooking Happily Ever After” was introduced earlier this year. She develops the recipes for the “Eating for Life” column for The Kansas City Star and is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier. She blogs at pluggedintocooking.com

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