Here are 7 tips for successfully pairing wine with chocolate.
Are you an avid chocolate and wine lover? Since you are reading this article, I would assume your answer is yes. But, have you ever thought about mixing these two excellent foods? I know many people can’t even imagine this but trust me once you do mix them you will think it’s a match made in heaven.
However, not every chocolate is made to match up with wine. If you don’t pick up the right pair, it’s going to taste bad. There is only one way to figure out which pair is best for you and that is by experimenting. You must keep on experimenting to see whether you achieve the perfect taste you want.
If you are completely novice with chocolate and wine then no need to worry, we’ve got a few tips for you to get you started on figuring out the best pairing of chocolate and wine that will leave you in ‘awe’.
1. Don’t have the chocolate sweeter than wine
Start with the wine that is a little sweeter than the chocolate that you are pairing with. Otherwise, you will turn the situation into palate power play. Both chocolate and wine have their intense flavor. Therefore, they will fight for dominance.
The intensity of their flavor comes from the heightened level of flavonoids present in both of them. So, let the wine bow before the chocolate first otherwise your wine is going to taste sour and bitter. Late harvest white wine and sweet red blends usually go well together. The more generic choice would be fortified wines like Madeira, port, and sherry.
2. Keep the similarities in mind
Always opt for a similar weight and similar style. Lighter, more elegant flavored chocolate should always be paired with lighter-bodied wines. In the same way, strong chocolate goes with full-bodied wines.
Dark chocolates full of intense flavors always call for denser, bolder, and full-bodied red wines filled with a lot of concentrated fruit notes. They taste delicious with vintage Tawny Port. Another great combination would be dark chocolate and Cabernet Sauvignon. These two always go well together and creates a delightful taste. As Cabernet Sauvignon is full-bodied, it should be paired with another intense flavor ingredient like dark chocolate with high cocoa content.
3. Go from light to dark
If you are planning a party with various wines and chocolate just like any wine tasting event then always go from a lighter path to a darker path. Start tasting more elegant chocolate with light-bodied wines to more dark or strong chocolate with full-bodied wines. That way you can avoid palate fatigue.
If you are going to serve just some chocolates as a dessert after dinner with only a glass of wine, then a sweet sherry will never go wrong. It will go well with literally any chocolate you throw in front of it. Also, while tasting chocolates, go from white to milk and then to dark chocolate. Bitter flavonoids increase as the chocolate gets darker and it will ruin your palate for light chocolate samples.
4. Wine with white chocolate
White chocolate isn’t technically considered to be a true chocolate because it’s cocoa free. But, it does come in chocolate like category, and it tastes fantastic with dry red wine. White chocolate is more like a buttery and mellow in flavor. Its sweet flavors of vanilla, milk, caramel, cream, fruits, or honey help in making quite a good pair with wine.
Some excellent wines that pairs with white chocolate are:
- Moscato d’Asti: It is also referred to as Muscat Blanc. It delivers the flavors of cream and peaches with floral roses. This makes the pairing extra creaminess.
- Pinot Noir: The white chocolate here delivers the sweet flavors of strawberries, red cherries, and raspberries present in Pinot Noir. Schiava is also a great alternative.
- Rose Port: As the name suggests, it’s a rose wine. It is one of the sophisticated sweet matches. White chocolate with Rose Port offers a rich flavor of currant and strawberries.
5. Wine with milk chocolate
Milk chocolate is usually made of half chocolate and half cream. It contains a somewhat smaller percentage of cocoa, and it is higher in sugar content. Plus, milk content makes it milder and sweeter with flavors like vanilla, cream, honey, caramel, milk, and nutty. Milk chocolate pairs up well with fruitier, lighter, and lower alcohol reds.
Some wines that pair wonderfully with milk chocolate are:
- Ruby Port: If you want some spice and berry flavor then original Port from Portugal will make a good pair with white chocolate.
- Late-Harvest Red Wines: Port styles wines like Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, and late-harvest Syrah serves well with a bar of milk chocolate, chocolate accented cheesecake, caramel hot chocolate, and a creamy chocolate mousse.
- Rutherglen Muscat: Originally from Victoria, Australia is the sweetest wine all over the world. It makes quite a good pair with white chocolate.
6. Wine with dark chocolate
Dark chocolates are the most intense chocolate filled with 70-100% cocoa. Their rich flavor offers the combination of fruity, earthy, roasted, ashy, woody, or nutty notes. The intense taste of dark chocolate always calls for an intensely flavored wine. Generally, wines that match with bittersweet styles also go well with semi-sweet chocolates.
Intense bittersweet style wines that create a pleasant taste with dark chocolate are:
- Pedro Ximenez: Montilla-Moriles region located in Spain makes this inky black-brown colored wine. It is specially made to be enjoyed in small sips.
- Chinato: It is an aromatized wine such as vermouth from Piedmont. It will give you an unusual bittersweet flavor with cherry dusted with exotic spices.
- Port-style Red Wines: Single varietal Port-style wines coming from outside of Portugal like Zinfandel, Malbec, and Petite Sirah have enough intensity to balance dark chocolate.
7. Keep on experimenting
An essential tip is to never stop experimenting. Each person has unique palate and likes/dislikes. A partnership that works well for one person may not favor other.
The examples or matches that we have discussed above were only some of the many great pairs that you can begin with to get you going.
So, by keeping the above tips in mind, start playing with them, and I am sure you will find the remarkable, appealing flavor of wine and your favorite chocolate pairings.
Guest Blogger: Harold Camaya
Harold is a blogger who loves to write especially in Beverages vertical. She has written many captivating, informative and unique articles for https://www.findrarewhisky.com/. Her hobbies are travelling and reading novels.