October 28, 2015
Wine + Chocolate Pairings
Like us, do you love wine and chocolate, but have always been dubious about pairing the two? Some say it can’t be done – this Wine & Chocolate pairing guide will prove them wrong!
Remember: there are no absolutes. As with food and wine pairings, only you are the arbiter of what works best. With that said…
Which wine with dark chocolate?
Try a dark bittersweet chocolate with a Barolo Chinato – don’t ask, just try it. Another Italian favorite: a Recioto della Valpolicella. The sweet, fortified Grenache-based red made in Southern France, Banyuls, is also a match that works well, especially with richer or creamier chocolate desserts. And so is Maury, a similar style wine, generally less expensive than Banyuls – which, by the way, you should try enjoying with a chocolate lava cake. Let’s not forget about Port, a tried and true classic; pair your chocolate with a Vintage-style Port, you won’t be disappointed! Last but not least: Zinfandel! More specifically, late harvest Zinfandel. Case-in-point: Lodi’s annual Wine and Chocolate Weekend, which focuses on Zinfandel and chocolate pairings.
Which wine with milk chocolate?
For something less dense, go for a Brachetto d'Acqui, a bright semi-sparkling red of Piedmont, often described as a red version of Moscato d’Asti, with rose aromas and light fruity flavors. Enjoy it with an airy chocolate mousse to end your dinner. Port doesn’t only make a great companion for dark chocolate, it marries beautifully with milk chocolate as well – a glass of ruby port or tawny port should be your go-to. Madeira and PX Sherry are also great options that are worth considering. If you want to go white, think Muscat, Gewürztraminer or the Hungarian Tokaji.
Which wine with white chocolate?
Fun fact: white chocolate is actually not chocolate! It doesn’t contain any cocoa, but is made with cocoa butter instead. This characteristic makes it the most versatile chocolate pairings with wine. Contrary to milk and dark chocolate, white chocolate can be enjoyed with Champagne or other sparkling wine (again, think sweet, and focus on a demi-sec to avoid going too dry. As for milk chocolate, Tokaji is an ideal partner for white chocolate. Gewürztraminer and Riesling’s exotic sweetness complement the typical nutty caramel and vanilla flavors of white chocolate. Orange Muscat and Moscato d’Asti should be two of your options as well. Oh, and try white chocolate with Ice Wine if you haven’t already.