Victoire Finaz does not wait for Easter to enjoy unlimited chocolate. In her shop, located in the 17th arrondissement in Paris, she creates custom bars and teaches chocolate tasting in the same way as a great wine. And according to the specialist, one of the best chocolates in the world is found in Montreal.

Looking at the robe, smelling the bouquet, then tasting, every wine lover is familiar with the tasting routine. Victoire Finaz performs the same steps when enjoying chocolate.

“Grapes have tannins, like cocoa,” she explains. The two products have many similarities, especially when it comes to fruity and woody notes. There is also alcoholic fermentation in the production of both. It builds bridges. »

As with the color of wine, the color of chocolate gives clues to the method of production. “If the tablet is very dark, I can imagine that the cocoa beans were burned during roasting”, cites the specialist as an example.

The shine of the chocolate is another element to observe. This element indicates that the temperatures were respected during crystallization and molding.

All chocolatiers knew these production secrets and their effects on tasting. However, Victoire Finaz realized that, unlike wine, there was little written about how to enjoy chocolate. She made it her vocation.

Victoire Finaz candidly admits that she has been addicted to chocolate since she was a child. Because the bean did not fall far from the cocoa tree: the expert was born into a family of chocolate makers in Lyon. Although she did not know the family store run by her grandfather, which was closed before she was born, her father introduced her to quality chocolates.

Despite her love of “brown gold,” as she calls it, she didn’t study baking, but psychology. Her thesis on the tasting and sensory evaluation of chocolate, however, led her to interview the best chocolatiers and pastry chefs in France as well as to visit cocoa-producing countries. She wanted to know everything about the production chain, from the cocoa tree to the tablet.

Back in Paris, the specialist created her profession. She swapped her psychology degree for that of shockologist. His work: chocolate expertise, from creation to tasting.

In her boutique called Chocologue Paris, she offers custom-made bars, in partnership with a chocolate maker, according to her inspirations and the requests of her customers. “Each chocolate tells a personal story,” she adds. There is a box that tells my trip to Morocco, another that is inspired by an ingredient that I discovered with a chef. »

She also organizes workshops on tasting technique and wine is never far away. Her favorite chord? Syrah and chocolate.

“Red wines from the Rhône, especially those made mostly of Syrah, go very well with chocolate,” says Finaz. Syrah is a peppery, flowery grape variety. »

It also favors pairings with natural sweet wines, such as banyuls or port, whose sweet and fruity taste creates a balance with the tannins of chocolate. To leave the known paths, the chocologist also offers tastings with spirits. Spicy notes, like cinnamon and tonka bean, go well with cognac, she says. While vanilla flavored squares go better with whisky.

But good chocolate does not always need to be accompanied. And according to the expert, one of the best chocolates in the world is produced by the Montreal chocolate factory Qantu. She admires the work of her artisans Elfi Maldonado and Maxime Simard. “Their 70% Peru tablet is the best,” she says.

Since she discovered this chocolate in Paris, at Galeries Lafayette, she has tasted it without moderation.

Is chocolate a guilty pleasure? Not at all, says Victoire Finaz in her most recent book co-written with doctor-nutritionist Hafid Halhol and published last year. The chocologist reveals the health benefits of sugar squares and explains the secrets of good chocolate. The book also contains 50 recipes, from breakfast to dessert, created by 11 chefs to prepare this delicacy in multiple ways.