How To: Pairing Wine & Chocolate
Step 1: Stick to normal pairing rules
You don't drink Sauvignon Blanc with steak, do you? Or drink Napa Cabernet with whitefish? Light with light, heavy with heavy. Keep things simple, start with wine that is slightly sweeter than the chocolate. Both wine and chocolate can be intense flavors and may battle for attention when pairing. Opt for similar styles and weight when pairing. Lighter more elegant chocolate should be matched with lighter bodied wines. The stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be.
Step 2: Start with the wine you already like
If you like drinking Merlot, get a Merlot. If you like Champagne, get Champagne. Don't overcomplicate things by buying a wine you're not certain you'll like, but that someone suggested might pair well with chocolate. Go with what you know.
Step 3: Find the chocolate
Go back to Step 1: Don't pair a light, milk chocolate with a heavy wine or a 90% cacao chocolate a light white. So think about your wine choice and how rich and powerful it is, then make your chocolate choice. White chocolate pairs nicely with Champagne, as does very light milk chocolate. If you like Pinot Noir, get a slightly darker chocolate. Merlot, darker still. Cabernet, super dark and rich. At the most decadent end of the spectrum, pair a nice Port with dark chocolate truffles.
Don’t think too hard when pairing. Here’s a little cheat sheet for what chocolates pair with what wines!
|White Chocolate||Late Harvest, Ice Wine, Moscato d'Asti, sweet Riesling|
Brotherhood's best selling wine, this beautiful Riesling has delicate floral and lime aromas and full, ripe flavors, off dry and very fruity. Perfectly balanced, with a long clean finish that goes well with salads, crab, ... more
|Milk Chocolate||Port, Madeira, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gewurztraminer|
Angeline wines were created to bring the market high quality wines at affordable prices. These are food friendly, fruit-forward wines. more
|Dark Chocolate||Port, Sherry, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon|
The 2012 Mettler Zinfandel draws you in with its deep, opaque garnet color. Enticing aromas of dried red currant, brambly blackberry and vanilla delight the senses. An impressive concentration of flavors offer waves of sweet ... more
|Chocolate with nuts/peanut butter||Madeira, Tawny Port, Oloroso Sherry|
Selected Portos are chosen for ageing in wooden casks, which concentrates their fruit and flavour. The colour matures from deep ruby through to amber, producing a rare and delicious Tawny Porto. Maturity and fruit are ... more
|Chocolate with berries||Sparkling wines, Moscato d'Asti, Ruby Port|
Characteristic of the Fonseca house style, Fonseca Ruby Port is consistently rich, plummy and robust with a lush smoothness on the palate and an extremely harmonious balance of fruit, tannin and acidity. Ready to be ... more
|Chocolate with caramel||Madeira, Tawny Port, Sherry|
These are the youngest of all the Dow's wood-aged Ports, having been aged on average 3 years in oak casks. These wines are carefully made from the finest grapes in the Douro valley. During the ... more
|Chocolate with mint||Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc|
|Chocolate cake||Madeira, Port, Sherry, Shiraz|
The aromas of cocoa, warm spice and dark fruit are very powerful from the first whiff. In the mouth, the wine is layered with rich blackberry, dark cherries and hints of dark, creamy chocolate ganache. ... more
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