First of all, I knew that there is a Fairtrade shop in Leicester – Just Fairtrade on St Martin’s Square, which I had not really visited much previously other than to pick up the odd gift, so I popped in there to say hello. It is by far the most colourful shop in town, a veritable treasure trove of clothes, gifts, toys, jewellery and food from all around the world, all ethically sourced.
It is a great place to find a unique gift, I saw jewellery boxes that had been made in India from old keys, lovely clothes with vibrant colours and unusual styles as well as, of course, lots of delicious Fairtrade sweets and chocolate! The team there are really welcoming and happy to talk you through their products and give you more information about shopping in a sustainable way.
On to the chocolate and with the balance of sweet, salty, earthy and crisp in the salted caramel chocolate you’ll be pleased to hear that bubbles are a great idea – nothing too dry, so you can look to the Italian sparkling wines for solace. At the time of writing, Aldi has a bottle of Asti Spumante at just £5.39 which would do the job admirably, with the bubbles caressing that rich chocolate flavour as the chocolate melts in your mouth and the light sweetness complimenting the rich tapestry of tastes in the chocolate.
The higher percentage dark chocolate needs something more powerful to complement its rich, earthy and bold flavours – so I would look to something in a Bordeaux red with great luscious savoury tannins. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape makes a great bedfellow with dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. The smoky spiciness of Chateau Meaume 2013, £9.99 when you buy 6 bottles at Majestic should hit the spot as well as giving an interesting flavour mixture that is both intriguing and satisfying.