I have a weak spot for indulgence. Whether it’s a pampering fine chocolate or a spot of bubbly, I can’t help myself. Can’t decide between wine and chocolate? Wine – not have both? Chocolate in a Bottle is what you’re looking for!
I tried Chocolate in a Bottle for the first time in 2015 at the Salon du Chocolat, an amazing event for chocolate lovers held in Milan, Italy. My girlfriend @ninamclernon and I enjoyed this sparkling wine from the first sip. What can I say? It was love at first sight! 😍
Recently, I had the pleasure to meet Tom De Bruyn, Director of Lumatop Belgium and Owner of Lumatop International, in person and I was able to ask him some questions. Here’s the little interview.
The Italian Guest: What is the meaning of Chocolate in a Bottle?
Tom: Chocolate in a Bottle is a product which is made out of 100% Chardonnay, French grapes and essence of Belgium chocolate, so all together. Chocolate in a Bottle was a name that we thought would have covered the whole product, so wherever we went, all around the world, people could understand us with this simple idea: it’s chocolate but in a bottle.
The Italian Guest: You have gained considerable acclaim for your Chocolate in a Bottle. Can you talk about how you decided to start this incredible experience and what are your plans for the future?
Tom: One day I met a man, he became a really good friend and I brought him, as a gift for his opening of a chocolate launch, 50 kg of chocolate and when I arrived in Muscat and opened my luggage I found my 50 kg of chocolate divided in 30 kg chocolate mousse and 20 kg of chocolate, so with the heat the chocolate couldn’t work. I drank their wine without alcohol and I really didn’t like it. So, I asked the guy: How is it possible this wine is not that tasteful even when it’s written down as Chardonnay? He said: Now we buy all leftovers, we pressed them again and we sell them as Chardonnay. So, I thought okay, I will buy a vineyard, all Chardonnay and I’ll press the grapes only once so you really have the good Chardonnay taste, the full acidity and fruitiness and then I add some essence of Belgium chocolate inside. In very warm weather you just have to put the bottle inside the fridge. You want to taste some good chocolate? You open the fridge, take it out and serve it very fresh. This is how Chocolate in a Bottle was born.
I’m a guy with feet on the ground but I’m proud to say we are already in 48 countries. The next step for developing the market would be the focus in Asia; this is still baby steps, we already have New Zealand but then also North America because we’re gonna have a launch there in April for strawberries season. We closed a deal with Russia. So, this will be the focus for the next two years. After those two years, we’re going to enter Africa. These are the plans for near future.
The Italian Guest: You have travelled the world to some fantastic destinations. How have your travels influenced you as a winery owner and businessman?
Tom: Every country or economic region has its own advantages and disadvantages. So, it gives me an opportunity to look to what they want and what they expect. Sometimes I bring some new philosophy or new productivity inside these countries and I do a little bit of exchange and also to help each economy: local producers of typical food or beverage.
The Italian Guest: Do you have a gluten free product?
Tom: Chocolate in a Bottle is gluten free, we have the certificate but we also have the nonalcoholic version: it’s the ideal solution for pregnant ladies, or for people not drinking alcohol. At special events, everyone can have the drink, whether alcoholic or not.
Chocolate in a Bottle is not for sale in the discount supermarket. They are found in specialized shops so that their product gets the attention it deserves.
A sparkling dessert wine perfect for any occasion, from special events, weddings, graduation parties, Christmas and much more!
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