Wine Pairing & Chocolates: The Basics

by Dustin Vance

Pairing wine and chocolate together is one delicious passion! Wine and chocolate paired is the perfect way to explore the complexities of flavors and textures that both of these yummy items poses. Some of these flavors are subtle, and others have the potential to be much more robust. Learning to appreciate and enjoy these difference in flavors could turn from a pastime to an obsession in the blink of an eye. Ready to try pairing yourself? Take these tips and tricks into account!

The first tip?

Make sure to go for high quality chocolate. Do your best to find chocolates that originate for high quality manufacturers.  When looking for the perfect smooth gourmet chocolates, make sure you find a chocolate manufacture with a good reputation. Smaller shops will often be able to detail the origins of their ingredients, and some chocolatiers even explore the cocoa plantations personally. Not only will this provide you with the opportunity to enjoy a wide range of delectable flavors, but the story of a chocolates origin is usually fascinating!

A group of ladies enjoying one of our Summer Wine Pairings.

Now that you have your chocolate, its time for wine.

Make sure to keep your wine sweeter than your chocolate. Though this may seem slightly counter-intuitive, it’s a must for pairing. If you allow your chocolate to be sweeter than your wine, you will likely find that the wine will take on a bitter taste. You may decide to try a few slivers of chocolate to make sure that you have the sweetness ratios correct. When does the work end, right?

           When pairing wine and chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine. This makes milk chocolate ideal for pairing with Port, Burgundies and other dessert wines, while extra dark chocolates (70% and above) are going to be complimented by much darker reds. Cabernet Sauvignons, Bordeaux’s and Malbecs are all viable options. If you decide that you would like to pair chocolate with white wines, consider fruity and intense pours. These will provide you with a better opportunity to match a wide range of flavors. 

 To enjoy all the subtleties these pairings will have to offer and send your taste buds to nirvana, arrange your tasting from light to dark. Starting with white chocolates or light milk, working your way to milk and then darks. End your tasting with the most intense wine and chocolate you have in your pairing list.

Dustin explaining chocolate and wines.

The last tip is crucial.

Remember to have fun! You have the opportunity to enjoy wine and chocolate together, get some friends together and enjoy this dynamic duo. Take a few notes on your favorite pairings and share them with other in your group. This will make selecting your wines and chocolates that much easier the next time. Now, time to get tasting!




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