There are two types of people in this world: those who embrace the Canada meets Constantinople of Candy and those who secretly kick puppies when no one is looking. If you're part of the former group, you embrace the inherent weirdness of the Big Turk, like how it was invented by a company called Smiles 'n Chuckles out of Kitchener, about which very little exists online (save for this extremely weird youtube video of the company's picnic in 1963 that I implore you to watch). Nestle makes it now, but it's still really odd—it has the word Loukoum on the label for example and still expects you to put it in your stomach. How it's still one of the few chocolate bars that can actually go stale and turn quite, er, rigid. How it has 2/3 less fat than those godawful imports from down south. If you're part of the latter group, perhaps you'll loan us your DVD of Season 3 of The Apprentice.
But all kidding aside, the Big Turk is the greatest chocolate bar ever. But its unique flavouring—Turkish Delight (or "Loukoum") by way of an ocean of corn syrup, covered in a thin veneer of chocolate—is not the easiest to pair wine with. So we've enlisted the help of some of the city's top sommeliers to help out. Those who said they didn't care for the Big Turk were excused. Not from this article, but from participating in any endeavour that requires them to use their taste buds for the rest of their sad lives.
The Somm: Matthew Landry, Stable House Bistro
Whoa—stop the presses! Matt Landry chose an obscure sparkling Italian red as his pairing. (To be clear, the other side of this bet was that he would choose a slightly less obscure sparkling Italian red). But to be fair, this low alcohol (5.5%) sweetheart is about as odd as a Big Turk is - a marriage made in misfit heaven. (You can find it at Fiore Mercato on South Granville).
The Somm: Kelcie Jones, Chambar
The Pick: Alpha Box & Dice Tarot Grenache 2017 $25
Kelcie likes this cool kids bottle from the supremely interesting Aussie label, Alpha Box & Dice where winemaker Sam Berketa weaves some new world wands over old conventions. Her thought: "This light, floral grenache would work well with the confected strawberry flavour": Wait what? Confected? Who got to you, Jones? Who got to you!?
The Somm: Michael Littleford, Cin Cin
The Pick: Massolino Moscato d'Asti $23
Cin Cin's Littleford on the entire concept: "Low ABV and super refreshing." Thanks for the brevity, Mike. It's almost like you don't really like Big Turks—you're just going through the motions (with an admittedly awesome pairing). Hmm... what's your DVD collection like? Any reality TV series of note?
The Somm: Miki Ellis, Dachi
The Pick: Les Deux Terres Ripaille 2017 $25
Miki is going for a rarity—a wine made with 100% Carignan from southern France. Her thought: It's not super tannin heavy and has nice fruity berry notes. A great French "table wine" that has a touch of effervescence and sweetness. And hats off for her matching the Big Turk's exoticism with a natural wine so obscure that it's impossible to find a bottle shot of. Well played, Miki—you blow my mind.(And you can find it by the glass at Dachi).