Some people claim that matching wine and chocolate is impossible, but it is possible if you pick the appropriate wine to go with the correct chocolate. There are a few coupling suggestions to bear in mind when combining your favourite wine with delicate white chocolate’s occasionally subtle, creamy undertones or dark chocolate’s vibrant, robust tones.
To keep things simple, start with a wine that is slightly sweeter than a chocolate dessert or chocolate-themed dessert. Due to the intensity of both wine and chocolate, they often compete for supremacy and the public’s immediate attention. Let the wine give in to the chocolate at first by pairing it with a slightly sweeter wine. This will allow the two to find a happy medium. The fortified favourites of Port, Madeira, Pedro Ximénez Sherry, and Grenache-driven Banyuls, in addition to a number of late harvest wine options, as well as some sweet sparkling wines like Italy’s delectable Brachetto d’Acqui or Moscato d’Asti with lighter selections, are some tried-and-true “sweet” wine options that cover a wide range of chocolate partners.
Choose a comparable style and weight as tip 2. Try to combine lighter, more elegantly flavoured chocolates with lighter-bodied wines when combining wines with chocolate; conversely, the stronger the chocolate taste, the fuller-bodied the wine should be. For instance, a powerful, forward California Zinfandel or even a tannin-driven Cabernet Sauvignon seem to go well with bittersweet chocolate. The more bitter and tannic the chocolate, the darker it will be. The tannins in the wine, however, will frequently be overpowered or neutralised on the tongue by the darker chocolate, allowing more of the vinous fruit to come through when this chocolate is paired with a wine that also has a robust tannic structure.
Taste chocolate from milk to dark or wine from light to full-bodied. If you plan to sample a variety of chocolates, approach it similarly to a formal wine tasting by starting with light white chocolate, moving on to milk chocolate, and finishing with the drier flavours of dark chocolate. You may prevent your palette from going into overdrive and missing out on the subtle sweet sensations found in more delicate chocolate options by beginning with the more subdued characteristics of white chocolate and concluding with dark or bittersweet chocolate (and wine).
White chocolate is typically milder and butterier in flavour, making it an ideal complement to sweeter Sherry varieties (think of Spain’s full-bodied, rich Pedro Ximénez Sherry), Italian Moscato d’Asti (try Saracco’s Moscato d’Asti), or the heady fragrances of an Orange Muscat. The creamy textures of the chocolate will be picked up by the Sherry and Moscato d’Asti, while any hidden fruit features will be highlighted by the orange muscat wine. Contrast is a different approach to matching wine with white chocolate. While a little risky, the pairing is unforgettable when the flavour contrast is successful. For instance, pairing a Zinfandel’s greater alcohol content and full-bodied, powerful upfront fruit with white chocolate’s soft textures and buttery flavour might have an interesting “melding” effect. The tannin in the wine softens behind the fat character of the chocolate and brings the ripe Zin fruit to the surface.
The smooth personality and cocoa butter components of milk chocolate, a creamy chocolate mousse, or a cheesecake with chocolate accents go nicely with the rich, red fruit and frequently lighter body and silky tannins of a Pinot Noir or a medium-bodied Merlot. The light texture and integrated milk chocolate flavour tend to go well with Riesling, Muscat, or the spectrum of renowned dessert wines. For a complimentary drink of strawberries coated in milk chocolate, think of Champagne or sparkling wine. The robust fruit notes and chocolate nuances stand out especially well because of the crisp acidity and fusion of bubbles. When in doubt, pick a traditional style. Ruby Port is an obvious choice for matching with a variety of milk and dark chocolate options because of its rich textures, fresh fruit components, hints of chocolate, and sweet flavour profile.
Dark or bittersweet chocolates require a wine with a bigger body, strong scents, and rich flavour sketching with bold fruit and maybe its own touch of local chocolaty subtleties since they have a greater cacao content (by definition, dark chocolate comprises a minimum of 35% cocoa solids). With their rich fruit, vivacious spice, and sometimes greater alcohol content, zinfandels have a long history of handling dark chocolate treats superbly. As an illustration, Lodi, a well-known wine-producing area in California, places a great value on Zinfandel and chocolate pairings during their yearly Wine and Chocolate weekends. Darker chocolate themes are a perfect match for Cabernet Sauvignon’s robust structure and full-bodied character, which frequently display luscious black fruit and notably pronounced tannin. For dark chocolate with a cocoa content of roughly 55%, you should also think about a Pinot Noir or a Merlot. The ideal wine and dark chocolate match may be the Southern French fortified drink Banyuls. Grenache grapes’ rich, complex aromas frequently accompanied by distinct chocolate undertones reflect the mouthfeel of dark chocolate, creating an unrivalled pairing synergy. Try a Tawny or Vintage Port in addition to the fortified themes to provide a well-balanced, complimentary character to a dark chocolate dish or truffle.
Picking up a couple of bars of Green and Black’s premium chocolate is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for a quick and affordable Do-it-yourself method to experiment with wine and chocolate combinations. You may learn “hands-on” which wines go best with different chocolate pairings by using a “mix and match” method to discover your own unique taste preferences. Eight bars of Green & Black’s chocolate were broken open, along with a few bottles of wine, so we could put each bar through a series of wine pairings to discover which ones worked best. This is just the beginning. When you start mixing vintages, producers, and other things with the more than a dozen chocolate bars that Green and Black makes, the possibilities are almost endless.
White chocolate is best paired with late-harvest or ice wines, Orange Muscat, Moscato d’Asti, somewhat sweet rosé, Brachetto d’Acqui, Tokaji, and German Riesling on the sweeter end of the scale.
Port, Madeira, Vin Santo, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Gewurztraminer, and other sweeter sparkling wines are all examples of milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate: Banyuls, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and PX Sherry
Sea salt enhances tastes, so choose a white wine from either end of the wine range, such as a sweet Late Harvest Gewürztraminer, a fruity, food-friendly Zinfandel, or even a Malmsey Madeira for a fortified option.
If you like chocolate with nuts, try Madeira, tawny Port, PX, or Oloroso Sherry.
Banyuls, sparkling wines, Brachetto d’Acqui, Moscato d’Asti, and crimson Port go well with chocolate and fruit.
Madeira, Tawny Port, PX Sherry, Vin Santo, Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise, and sweet sparkling wines go well with chocolate.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Shiraz, Moscato d’Asti, and other sweet dessert-style red wines go well with chocolate.
Banyuls, Madeira, Port, PX Sherry, Vin Santo, and Shiraz with chocolate cake
Individual palates are unique to each individual, thus a wine and chocolate pairing that pleases one palate may not do so for another. Wine and chocolate frequently have a sizable fan following in common, but that doesn’t mean their flavours are always compatible. You can find the balance and perfect synergy of a well-matched couple in great wine and chocolate pairings, though, if you’re willing to be flexible and try some tasty new things.