A KC Chemist’s Chocolate Will Appear At A National Food Festival

Cocoavino Featured In A Charcuterie Board / Photo Courtesy Of Cocoavino

KC will be represented at one of the nation’s most notable culinary festivals this summer, Aspen’s Food and Wine Classic. Shawn Hall, a KC local and former chemist, will be debuting his red wine chocolate Cocoavino at the festival, the perfect stage for his unique product.

“[The Festival] is looking for innovation, novelty, who is bringing something new, who is challenging flavor,” says Hall.

Hall is one of 150 vendors participating in the festival. Participants come from across the nation and are considered some of today’s top food and drink innovators. The festival will take place the weekend of June 14-16.

“From what I’ve been able to gather, I can’t find any other invitees that have been from KC so I’m excited to be out there,” Hall says. “They make a big deal about where people are from.”

Cocoavino is certainly innovative. The dark chocolate is infused with a reduced red wine blend and, although technically a ganache, has a mousse-like consistency. Wine and chocolate aren’t a revolutionary pairing, but they are rarely both offered in the same product. When Hall looked into selling his red wine chocolate in 2021, he saw an opportunity.

“It’s a new flavor experience,” says Hall. “Up front you get a dark chocolate flavor that just hits your palate. As that melts away you get this beautiful finish of wine. It takes away the bitterness of dark chocolate and smooths it out with a little bit of fruit and acidity.”

He credits his background as a chemist to better understand the unique flavor profiles and processes of both wine and chocolate.

Hall is now a full time entrepreneur and sells his product in more than 150 stores across the nation. Locally, you can purchase it at any Made In KC store. The chemist turned chocolatier recommends using it as a sauce or spread for charcuterie boards or pastries. One of its most popular uses is as a dip for strawberries. 

Cocoavino’s Red Wine Chocolate & Its Many Uses / Photo Courtesy Of Cocoavino

Right after Aspen, Hall is taking Cocoavino to Finger Lakes Wine Festival in northern New York, Nebraska Balloon and Wine Festival and GrapeFest in Texas.

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