How To Pair Wine With Chocolate
Some people like chocolate more than others. Some people like different kinds of chocolate. But when you like wine with chocolate, well, you are approaching gustatory nirvana (look it up).
Some chocolates go with wines better than others. The general rule is that a wine should be as sweet, or a little more so, than the chocolate. Acidic wines are not usually recommended with chocolate. But, as always, drink what you like.
Wines such as a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, probably won’t work well for you. Champagnes and sparkling wines won’t work if they are on the crisp, acidic side. If you must have bubbles with your chocolate go with a demi-sec or even an Asti Spumante, the sweet Italian bubbly.
Many people like white chocolate, even though it technically isn’t chocolate. Some white dessert wines would match up well. Something made from Moscato, perhaps, or the aforementioned Asti, or even an Ice Wine.
Milk chocolate will work with some of the same wines as white chocolate. Both being sweet, they will need a pretty sweet wine to go with. I read an article once that recommended Pinot Noir. I tried it, and the milk chocolate was good, and the Pinot Noir was good. They just weren’t good together. At least not to me. Personally, I am picky about wine with chocolate. You must have the right ones.
When matching wine with chocolate, you are usually talking about dark chocolate, the king of chocolate. The best ones usually have the cocoa content on the label. You’ll usually see a range from 60% to 85%. The higher the cocoa content, the sharper the taste. 85% can be a bitter dose, at least for me, but I guess someone likes it. My personal preference is about 70%. The wine should be a young fruity red without much tannin. Some Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlotfrom Washington State would fit that bill. A Petit Syrah or even a Syrah would be good. An excellent red, designed to be consumed young is the Carmenere, from Chile. Fruit forward and without rough tannins.
Port with chocolate is my favorite combination. Dark chocolate, that is. There is a white Port, but Ports are usually red. Being a dessert wine, Port is sweet. It will be sweeter than the dark chocolate. It is also stronger (in alcohol) than a regular table wine. The mixture of dark chocolate and port in the mouth has to be experienced to be believed. This is the gustatory nirvana I mentioned earlier. Ports are not cheap, but you don’t need much. Generally you will have a few friends around to help you with the Port. It is also available in half bottles. A review of Ports is a subject for another day. Just remember you don’t need the most expensive Port to appreciate Port with chocolate. A good retailer can help you here.
- 2012 FNB Customer’s Top 10 Sauvignon Blanc Winners Announced (blogs.timeslive.co.za)