Chocolate and wine were meant to be. However, pairing cholate with the wrong wine can make it seem like the worst combination. Therefore, you must pair cholate with the right wine.
Tips For Pairing Wine Chocolate
Chocolate and wine have robust dry flavors. When a high-tannin red wine is paired with dark chocolate, it will overwhelm your palette. To find the perfect pairing, you need to pair chocolate with the right type of wine.
Chocolate has a smooth, silky texture that works well with soft wines. So pair chocolate with low-tannic non-dry wine.
Choose wines that are sweeter than chocolate. I know what you’re thinking; chocolate is already sweet. Why would I pair it with a sweet wine?
Yes, chocolate is sweet, but a sweet wine will not overpower the chocolate’s flavor. This pairing works well.
Sweet wine does not necessarily mean a dessert wine. The word sweet can be used to describe rip wines that have a dominant fruity flavor. These fruity features offset the bitter flavor of the cocoa.
Pair chocolate with wines that have similar weight and flavors. For example, less robust chocolates pair perfectly with light-bodied wines. In contrast, white chocolate works well with full-bodied wines.
Start with chocolates with a mild flavor and wines with a subtle flavor. Once you have a few wine pairings under your belt, you can start experimenting with more intense chocolates and wines.
Chocolate can also feature caramel, fruit, and nuts. Therefore, consider how these ingredients will interact with the wine. For example, chocolate with pieces of dried fruit like raisins or cherries pairs well with a fruity red wine that has subtle berry notes.
What Wine Pairs With Chocolate?
It’s a crime to pair any wine with chocolate. Cholate is a decadent, indulgent food, so pair with a quality wine that makes eating the chocolate that makes eating the chocolate even better.
Quality milk chocolate consists of 50% chocolate and 50% cream. The additional fat from the cream makes it easier to pair this rich cholate with wine.
Late-harvest wines such as Syrah, Petite Shiraz, and Pinot Noir also work well with milk chocolate.
Brachetttod’Acqui works will with milk chocolate. This sweet sparkling red wine cuts through the rich, creamy texture of the milk chocolate.
Late-harvest wines have a concentrated, sweet flavor since they are left on the vine longer than regular grapes. This sweet flavor balances out the flavor of the bitter cocoa.
Ruby Port is a Portuguese wine loaded with notes of spice and berries. The spicy flavor balances out the sweetness, while the berry flavor amplifies the flavor of the sweet chocolate.
Lambrusco di Sorbara is the lightest style of Lambrusco wine. It is a sparkling red wine with subtle notes of peach and strawberry. The bubbly texture cleanses the palette of the rich chocolate, while the fruity peach and strawberry flavors contrast beautifully with the bitter cocoa.
White chocolate is a velvety smooth cholate with a sweet, nutty flavor. Even though white chocolate is not considered because it does not contain cocoa, it still deserves a spot on this list.
In general, white chocolate pairs well with sweet dessert wine. For example, white chocolate pairs well with Rosé. Choose a Rosé wine that has a fruity berry flavor. The berry flavor will elevate the chocolate’s sweet, nutty notes.
Gewurztraminer is an excellent pairing for white chocolate. Although it is compared to Riesling, Gewurztraminer is not as sweet as Riesling.
It has flavors of lychee and lime and a subtle hint of spice. These lychee and spice flavors balance the sweet white chocolate while the lime flavor cleanses the palette.
Late-harvest Riesling wine also pairs well with white chocolate. This style of Riesling has a sweeter flavor, but it also has concentrated tones of lemon, spice, and apricot. These flavors contrast beautifully with the chocolate’s nuttiness.
Although it seems odd, Chardonnay pairs well with most foods, including white chocolate. An oak-aged Californian Chardonnay will give the chocolate a creamier texture. Unoaked Chardonnay adds a nutty pear flavor that accentuates the chocolate’s sweetness.
Like wine, dark chocolate contains tannins. The tannins in dark chocolate are almost identical to those in wine. Therefore, the health benefits are very similar.
For the pairing, the wine needs to balance out the flavor of the bitter dark chocolate.
Portuguese Port wine has cinnamon notes that pair perfectly with the bitter flavor due to the high cacao ratio.
Vin Santo del Chianti has a rich, complex flavor consisting of cherries, spice, and a subtle nuttiness. This profile balances out the bitter chocolate.
Vermouth or aromatized wine with subtle notes of spice and cherries. The cherry and spice flavors lift the chocolate’s bitter flavor and cleanse the palette.
Sometimes chocolate and spice can be the best combination. Sugar softens the spicy flavor. Therefore, a Lambrusco wine is the perfect pairing to remove the spicy flavor from your palette.
However, if you want to bring the heat, a full-bodied Cabernet with high tannic activity will increase the heat of the spice in the chocolate.
Chocolate With Fruit
Whether fresh or dried fruit and chocolate are a delicious pairing, however, the fruit will influence the pairing. Therefore, it’s best to pair the wine with both chocolate and fruit flavors.
Chocolate with dried fruit like raisins or currants works well with Lambrusco. The floral notes of violet and orange pair well with the sweet chocolate. The orange flavor also helps to cleanse the palette.
In contrast, dipped fresh fruit pairs well with Chenin Blanc for chocolate. Chenin Blanc has dominant notes of jasmine, honeycomb, ginger, passion fruit, and ripe pears. The fruity flavors pair well with the sweet chocolate.
Salted Caramel Chocolate
Port wines pair well with salted caramel cholate. The sweet flavor balances out the salty flavor while enhancing the flavor of the chocolate and caramel.
However, opt for a Shiraz if you want to try something different. Shiraz is famous for its spice, pepper, and red fruit notes. These flavors balance out the sweet yet salty taste of the salted caramel chocolate.
There’s no better combination than sweet chocolate and wine. So indulge in a glass of wine the next time you eat a piece of cholate.