5 tips to pair wine and chocolate
I love chocolate, do you?
I also love wine and I love pairing with each other…
BUT not every chocolate goes with every wine.
How to pair wine and chocolate?
Which one do we taste first and how?
How to pair chocolate based dessert with wine?
Let’s see how pairing them, all easy & fun!
1. How to pair chocolate & wine?
Here are some general rules of thumb for wine and chocolate pairings:
- Intensity: lighter chocolate with lighter wine
- Sweetness level: best is to have a sweeter wine than the chocolate
- Order: light to dark chocolate (if you start with strong ones, it will cover your palate and you will not be able to feel the lighter ones properly).
Take a wine with fruity juicy aromas to compliment chocolate aromas. If both are bitter for example, it does not make a great pairing in mouth. So having a wine with sweeter or fruitier aromas to compliment chocolate is important.
2/ Chocolate and wine pairings suggestions
Here are some chocolate and wine pairing suggestions:
- WHITE CHOCOLATE
Well this is not my cup of tea (or glass of wine -haha). I don’t consider white chocolate as “chocolate” as it does not contain any cocoa): go with similar sweetness level, honey and creamy aromas. Hence sweet white wine is good with.
Example of wine grape based: Semillion, Muscat, Muscadelle, Gewürztraminer. Sweet sparkling wine is also a good pairing with.
- MILK CHOCOLATE
Pick some aromatic and fruity white wine.
Example of wine grape based: Chardonnay, Marsanne, Rousanne, Viognier,Pinot Gris.
- MILD DARK CHOCOLATE 60%
Red wine is definitely the best pairing. A red fruity with light acidity wine is a good pairing.
Example of wine grape based: Merlot, Grenache, Tempranillo.
- DARK CHOCOLATE 70-80%
Chocolate is more intense in taste, so pick also a red intense wine with dark fruit / spicy flavor depending on the chocolate profile.
Example of wine grape based: Syrah, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zifandel, Malbec, Pinotage.
*Check also your chocolate profile, does it have spicy, smoky, floral aromas to pick a wine that balance accordingly.
* Fortified wine present also some nutty, fruity and smoky taste and are incredible to pair with dark chocolate. Have a try with some Port, Banyuls, Madeira or Sherry for example
3/ Flavored chocolate & desserts wine pairing
If your chocolate is flavoured, for example, sea salt, caramel (yum), berries, nuts, chocolate this is to consider in the wine pairing too.
Example: chocolate with nuts is good with Port, Madeira fortified wine or some nutty aromas wine. Chocolate with mint is good with red Syrah or Shiraz wine.
For dessert based chocolate, you can have a stronger red wine to compensate the fatty taste of the cake. With dark chocolate cake, I personally like a lot Banyuls fortified red wine, or some Grenache red wine with intense cherry aromas.
4/ How to taste wine & chocolate?
Ensure your chocolate is at room temperature. (too cold will freeze aromas, too hot will affect texture).
- Taste your wine (we start with the wine first to not let chocolate impacts the wine’s taste). Notice the mouth feel and aromas.
- Taste a piece of chocolate: Don’t chew it. The best is to let it melt slowly in your mouth. Pay attention to the taste and sensations.
- Back to the wine. Taste again your wine. Notice how this impacts its taste. Is it a successful wedding?
As Food pairing it shall compliment each other.
Note: I also fully recommend thicker chocolate square. It is really suitable to have time to let it melt in your mouth slowly.
5/ Take care of your chocolate
A last note! Chocolate is sensitive as wine…
Don’t store your chocolate in fridge, it hates humidity. Hence, the best is to pick a dry room, out of light around 15• Personally, I set up my wine fridge at 15• to store both my wine and chocolate…my favourite space at home 😉
Now it is your turn, make your own trials, pair some chocolate & wine, enjoy!
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