Pairing Wine and Chocolate

Monday, July 23rd, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine and chocolateFor some people, they say it simply cannot be done: wine paired with chocolate. It simply is as preposterous as you imagine it to be. However, if you do have the right type of wine to complement the right type of chocolate, you will be able to come up with a match made in heaven.

You should remember to always have the right combination or else it will be a guaranteed bad experience for you. As imaginative as it seems, the delicate taste of chocolate can be combined with wine if you do have the right type of mix. So with regard to pairing chocolate with wine, there are some tips that you need to be reminded of.

The wine should be at least as sweet, if not a tad sweeter, than the chocolate that you are serving it with. This is pretty self-explanatory. If you do not follow this, you might find yourself eating a literally sour combination. Whenever you are pairing wines with chocolate, your best move is to simply match a lighter and more elegantly flavored chocolate with lighter-bodied wines.

In the same way, the strong chocolates should be reserved for the full-bodied wines. One example for this is that a bittersweet chocolate should be paired with an intensely flavored type of wine such as the robust California Zinfandel.

This type of experimentation is quite similar to formal wine tasting as you will be dealing with a lot of experimentation both with the wines as well as the chocolates. However, you might want to focus more on the chocolates and start sampling the lighter ones, working your way up to the dark, bittersweet chocolates.

If you want to serve white chocolate, you should remember that they are naturally buttery and mellow which makes it a great companion for a Sherry, Moscato d’Asti which is from Italy’s Piedmont area or an Orange Muscat. Suggestions for a Sherry would be Manuel de Argueso Pedro Ximinez which costs about $18.

An excellent Moscato d’Asti would be Michele Chiarlo Moscato d’Asti 2005 which is $12 and a perfect Orange Muscat would be Quady Winery’s Electra 2005 which also retails for $12. These will complement the creaminess of the white chocolates that you will be tasting and will prove to be a very heavenly experience for you.

For the milk chocolates, you might want to go with the Pinot Noir or a lighter-bodied Merlot. For the Pinot Noir, you can try (Rex Goliath Pinot Noir which costs $9 and for the Merlot, try the Hogue or Columbia Crest. These will satisfactorily complement a bar of milk chocolate, a creamy chocolate mousse or chocolate accented cheesecake.

For those milder milk chocolates, go with Rieslings, Muscats or dessert wines. They will  tend to hold up well to those types of chocolates. As mentioned in the earlier part of the article, dark or bittersweet chocolates are best paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Zinfandel. These will surprise you and will more than fill your chocolate pairing expectations.