Chocolate labels should state the percentage of cacao and the country of origin. Look for the words “bean to bar,” which means the chocolate has been processed entirely, from cocoa bean to finished bar, in the same place by a single maker.
As is the case with all food- and drink-related virtual events, be sure to offer alternatives for the attendees who may be allergic or unable to participate for health reasons. Some chocolate boxes may contain nuts or other allergens, so remember to mention that to the attendees and check with the vendor about accommodating certain allergies.
In order for guests to detect the nuances between different chocolates, it helps to offer a palate cleanser like apple slices, berries, or crackers to nibble on. Many vendors will include these items along with the chocolate samples.
You can host a blind tasting where attendees taste unidentified chocolates, so they are not influenced by packaging or brand name, similar to a blind spirits tasting.
If you want to upgrade your virtual chocolate tasting, consider adding on a wine pairing. Keep in mind, though, that both red wine and chocolate have strong tannic flavors that can cancel each other out. Instead, recommend that the attendees sip on a crisp white wine or some sparkling wine. Plus, it’s extra festive!