5 Perfect Wine and Chocolate Pairings
If you are like me, you love some chocolate and wine paired together, but sometimes struggle with which chocolate goes with which wine. Do not fret my friend, we are here to help.
We broke down 5 excellent wine and chocolate pairings, so you can look classy AF the next time you and some friends are sippin vino and want to chow down on some chocolate, check it out!
Chocolate & Wine, one fine pairing!
Wine and chocolate hold various similarities such as both being rich in antioxidants. The process of making both wine and chocolate involves fermentation with the same type of yeast. They have a huge fan following across the globe and can make any day better. But maybe it is the similarity that causes them to fight for the palate when tried to pair together.
Wine and chocolate pairing needs one to pay attention to intricate details in the taste palate to be able to enjoy the best of both without suppressing anyone. The first step before deciding on a wine and chocolate pair is to know each of them individually. There might be certain flavors from both that may not pair well. So, the task here will be to pair in such a way that it enhances the best aspects of both and compliments whereas fades the unpleasant notes away. Red wine is usually considered to pair best with most chocolates and is often preferred to put to use. But the truth is that white wine, sparkling wine etc, also pair well with certain types of chocolates which we will explore here.
1) Milk Chocolate & Wine Pairing
Milk chocolates: Partly chocolate and partly cream, milk chocolates have extra fat that comes from the cream which makes the task of pairing it with a wine quite easy.
Pair with– A sparkling red wine from Italy such as Brachetto d’Acqui or late harvest Syrah, Petite Sirah and Pinot Noir will make an outstanding combination with Milk Chocolate.
Hungarian Tokaji will flush your mouth with a parade of flavors when paired with milk chocolate ganache.
Muscat which is a white dessert wine is popularly used to pair with milk chocolates. The peach and apricot flavors of the wine will blend smoothly with your chocolate.
The elegant flavors of peach and strawberry from Lambruscos and the spiced up berry hint of Ruby Port could be the right one for those looking for the dominant contrast of flavors.
Aged Montilla- Morales could burst into a soft caramel hot chocolate in your mouth when paired with creamy milk chocolates.
Other wines: PX Sherry, Creamy sherry, Rasteau and Moscatel de Setubal.
2) Dark Chocolate and Wine Pairing
Dark Chocolates: Unlike Milk chocolates, dark chocolates need more attention while pairing as the bitter taste does not go well with many wines. With a minimum of 35%, cocoa solids which might go up to as high as 99%, sharing the palate with other non-sweet wines may not be a good idea.
Pair with- Strong red wines with dominant fruity notes are the best pairing elements for dark chocolates.
To counter the bitter taste cherry, nutty, cinnamon flavors of Vin Santo del Chianti could be the right choice. The sweetness will balance out the bitterness.
Various Port-style wines such as Petite Sirah and Malbec will make a divine pairing with cayenne chocolates and ginger chocolates respectively.
If you are looking to pair with the high-end cocoa concentrations, then something like Vin Jaune would be the right way to go about.
Other wines: Banyuls, Maury, Chinato, Vin Santo, Late harvest Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Marsala, Merlot.
3) Chocolate with Nuts, Berries and other tasty treats & Wine Pairing
Nuts and berries: Chocolates which contain nuts and berries are a tricky forte to handle while trying to pair with wine. They have a dominant fruity flavor of their own and hence red wines may not always be the best option.
Pair with- Rose wine will be a great pairing wine with dark chocolates that contain raspberry or hazelnut.
A Val de Mar Brut rose will be absolutely perfect to go with these chocolates.
A mild palate of sweet sparkling Vietti Cascinetta Moscato D’Asti could sweep you off your feet when paired with chocolate strawberries.
Wines such as Madeira, Oloroso Sherry, and Marsala go perfectly with Peanut butter cups.
4) Caramel Chocolate and Wine Pairing
Caramel Chocolates: Caramel blends saltiness with sweetness and pairing it with the right wine will be a start to an amazing feast. There are two ways of pairing wines with caramel flavors. One can either look for palates that are complementary or similar to that of the chocolate.
Pair with- Vin Santo, Cream Sherry, Aged Tawny Port, Amontillado Sherry, Madeira are great pairing wines that have a very similar palate to that of caramel.
For those looking for something a little more complimentary, you can try Lambrusco, Demi-Sec Champagne, Brachetto d’Acqui and Moscato d` Asti.
Pairing toffees also go quite similar to that of caramel where you can pair buttery ones with similar kind of wine such as Meursault that has mild acidity and a rich flavor of the fruit.
5) Mint Dark Chocolate and Wine Pairing
Mints: Mint in dark chocolate could be paired with Zinfandels to experience a flash of flavors in your mouth.
Pair with– Cabernet’s also go great while pairing with mints.
Zins and California cabs have a hint of mint in their own taste and these are great options to go with some chocolates with mint.
Experimenting with not necessarily minty tones of wines can also be great such as with mild fruity wines with low acid content.
Some tips to remember while pairing:
- You don’t always have to pair complementary flavors. Matching bold tones of wines with bold chocolates could also turn out to be amazing. So instead of trying to enhance subtle hints letting the dominant flavors clash could be a great idea. Drop working with Burgundy and pick a bottle of Syrah instead.
- If you want to try a new pairing of your own then lay down some choices in both wines and chocolates. Start the tasting with chocolates which have the lowest cocoa percentage and move forward towards higher percentages. This will help you enjoy the pairing as well as define it better.
- Pairing with Dry red wines could be difficult. Pairing dry wines with dark chocolates could be a good idea only if you know it best. Look for wines with some residual sugar (RS) in order to get a great pair for your dark chocolate.
- Liqueur-flavored chocolates go best with their corresponding liqueur. You could always experiment with mild variations although their own liqueurs will be the ideal pairing.
- Coffee flavored chocolates can be paired with cream liqueurs such as Godiva and Bailey`s or Oloroso sherry.
- White chocolate can also be paired well with wine even though it is only made with chocolate liquor and hence it can hardly be considered a chocolate. It has dominant sweet notes with hints of milky, caramel flavors.
- Orange Muscats, German Riesling, Tokaji make an amazing pair with white chocolate. A sparkling glass of Champagne on the sweeter end could also be a great pair with white chocolates. Slightly sweeter tones of wines go well with these chocolates.
These Chocolate and wine pairings may not be for everyone
While these pairings are concluded based on general liking it is always possible that these don’t apply to you. Some of us prefer to have one of wine or chocolate dominate over the other while the rest might be looking for something subtle or even different. So, if you decide to experiment on your own then keep an open mind and pay attention to the small hints that you might like while you are tasting. Who knows, you might even come up with a revolutionary pairing such as Hershey kisses with Champagne.
let us know how these pairings went at your next wine and chocolate pairathon, we would also love any pairings you would like to see here.
She is a blogger who loves to write especially in Beverages vertical. She has written many captivating and informative articles for OptingHealth.com. Her hobbies are travelling and reading novels.