A Novice’s Guide to Pairing Chocolate and Wine

Valentine's Day CelebrationThere are those who will tell you that there is no chocolate that pairs well with wine, and no wine that pairs well with chocolate.

These are not “bad” people. They simply are people with whom I strongly disagree. There actually are a number of wine-and-chocolate pairings that work quite nicely… which means you need not skip one in favor of the other this Valentine’s Day.

Here’s a look at some of the pairings my fellow wine lovers embrace, from milder chocolates to more intense renditions…

  • White Chocolate

Technically not chocolate by definition (because it contains no cocoa), we’ll include it here because, hey, we’re not big on technicalities. Because its flavor is so mild, white chocolate benefits from a wine with sweet fruit flavors — a wine like the Moscato d’Asti from Il Conte d’Alba.

  • Milk Chocolate

Get your hands on a milk chocolate-covered truffle filled with strawberry, cherry or raspberry cream. Then pair it with the Pink Moscato from Atelie. Then smile.

  • Dark Chocolate

The pairing possibilities multiply with dark chocolate, as a number of “bigger” wines pair well with this “bigger” chocolate. A rich, nutty Port works nicely when chocolate is the lone flavor. When you add fillings such as dark cherry or raspberry cream, then you can pair the chocolate with wines like the 2015 Sophie’s “Palm Block” Shiraz from Australia, or the 2014 Criss Cross Zinfandel from Lodi, California, which is just as intense as the chocolate.

One word of caution when it comes to dark chocolate: Stick to bars or truffle coverings that are between 35 and 70% cocoa solids. If you go above 70%, the chocolate will overpower all other flavors, including those of the wine.

And since no Valentine’s Day is complete without chocolate AND wine, that would be a true tragedy.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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