Good news for those who love wine and chocolate is that wine and chocolate complement each other. What might sound at first like an unlikely marriage is quite a harmonious one – with a bit of pre-marital counseling.
As with foods, there are many kinds of chocolate preparations with different flavour profiles; so no one wine is a universal match. While that creates a challenge to find the perfect suitor for a box of assorted bonbons; it also makes it fun to seek your favorite pairings, and test on an ongoing basis which combinations you prefer.
In general, dark and bittersweet chocolates go best with stronger red wines while milk and white chocolates paired better with lighter reds and sweeter white wines. The perfect pairing balances sweetness, fruitiness, and acidity—and your own flavour preferences, of course.
- Most of the time, Champagne and chocolate don’t pair well. Against the sweetness of the chocolate, Champagne appears tart; even the secs and demi-secs (sweet Champagnes) are too delicate to stand up to the cocoa butter mouthfeel of chocolate. Save the Champagne for fresh strawberries.
- Similarly, Rieslings, Chenin Blancs, and Sauternes lack the right structure to pair with rich chocolate. They do, however, pair with white chocolate.
- One prominent sweet wine that does have the balance to pair splendidly is Muscat or Moscato.
- Another ideal pairing is fortified wine like Port.
- Some experts don’t believe in drinking dry red wines with chocolate. Some disagree, as long as it is a wine with straightforward, strong notes—not too dry, too tannic, or too astringent. Try it and form your own opinions. The cocoa butter in the chocolate mellows out the tannins and astringency; and fine dark chocolate has enough complexity to hold its own with most reds.
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