Taste chocolates with unusual cachet

Chocolate is expensive. We’re not talking Hershey’s Kisses, though everybody likes ‘em, but fine chocolate from Belgium and Switzerland, and from small-production companies in California. For instance, we’ve seen 2.5-ounce artisanal chocolate bars made in the Bay Area sell for as much as $12 at specialty stores, and bars of imported chocolate bars typically priced at $6 to $8.

Given that, we were pleasantly surprised to find a display of very reasonably priced Cachet Belgian chocolate bars at Corti Bros. Market. We bought a sampling of 3.5-ounce dark-chocolate bars for $3.19 each, in intriguing and delicious flavor combinations — pear-almond, lemon-black pepper, orange-almond and blackberry-ginger.

Despite what wine snobs say about pairing chocolate with wine (don’t do it!), we teamed the chocolate with glasses of zinfandel and pinot noir and had a grand time. Corti’s is at 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento, (916) 736-3800.