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UPDATE: Is this the perfect bottle for a market meltdown?2-9-18 3:22 PM EST

By Charles Passy

Stressed investors may find comfort in ChocoVine, a blend of chocolate and wine

The bottle: ChocoVine, $11.99

The back story: Maybe the market meltdown of the past week has you reaching for the bottle. Or maybe you're looking for a Valentine's Day gift that goes beyond the usual box of bonbons.

We've got one word for you: ChocoVine.

True to its name, ChocoVine is a blend of chocolate and wine. It's a Dutch-made product that has been around for a decade, but it has grown in popularity in the past few years in the U.S., with annual sales increasing by 6% on average, according to Royal Dutch Distillers, the importing company behind it. "We really invented the category," says Stephanie Jerzy, a brand spokeswoman.

The appeal has to do with the fact that people like chocolate (duh!) and like wine (duh again!). And while there are chocolate-flavored cream liqueurs (and Chocovine does include some cream as well), Chocovine actually has a much lower alcohol content -- 14% -- than such drinks. So, it really sips like a wine. A candy bar-flavored wine, but a wine nonetheless.

What we think about it: A very weird -- and weirdly appealing -- product. Perhaps because we're more familiar with the texture of cream liqueurs, ChocoVine seemed a little too liquid-y to us at first. And to our palate, it lacked any distinctive wine character -- it's got some Cabernet Sauvignon in it, but if you told us it was made with a boozed-up version of Hi-C, we'd be just as inclined to believe you.

But then we decided to relax our wine-snob guard and just ride the ChocoVine wave. After all, it's sweet and pleasant and goes down easy -- too easy perhaps. It comes in different flavors, too -- we liked the Dark Chocolate. If the stock market keeps tanking, we might have to reach for another bottle. And either way, there's still Valentine's Day to think about.

How to enjoy it: You don't have to do a lot of soul-searching before you open a bottle of ChocoVine. You just have to keep it chilled or serve it on ice. It can also work as the basis for a chocolate martini -- as in two parts ChocoVine to one part vodka.

-Charles Passy; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-09-18 1522ET

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