It’s no secret that certain foods can help bring out the flavours in wine, that’s why we pair certain meals with certain types of wine. But did you know that the same goes for chocolate as well? Since there are so many kinds of chocolate, the sweet treat has its own set of rules for wine pairing.
The rule of thumb when trying pair chocolate with wine is to opt for a chocolate that is slightly sweeter than the wine. This will help them complement each other, as opposed to competing for flavour. The best way to find a perfect wine pair is to try it out. Flavour is so subjective, you never know what you could discover if you get creative.
Here are seven of the most delicious wine and chocolate pairings:
1. Wine & Milk chocolate
As one of the sweeter types of chocolate, milk chocolate goes well with sweet wines like Port, Muscat, or Riesling. Milk chocolate is typically soft and smooth on the tongue, and sweet wines complement that nicely. Other top contenders include Pinot Noir and medium-bodied Merlot.
2. Wine & White chocolate
This cacao-free “chocolate” is a champion for pairing with dry red wine. Most chocolate calls for something on the sweeter side, but white chocolate will bring out the sweetness in a dry wine. White chocolate uses no cacao, only cacao fat. As such, some don’t consider it a chocolate at all. That said, as a creamy and rich treat, it tends to fall into the chocolate category, and it does offer unique flavours when being paired with wine.
3. Wine & Dark chocolate
Some claim that Pinot Noir is the only wine to go when it comes to dark chocolate. Others claim that a Zinfandel or a Cabernet Sauvignon are best. Whatever you choose, you want to watch out that you don’t choose a wine that is too strong in tannins. The dark chocolate itself already has a lot of tannins, so doubling up will create a very bitter taste and dry feeling in the mouth – overwhelmingly so, even for those who like their wines bone dry.
4. Wine & Caramel chocolate
When working with a caramel chocolate, choosing a wine that has been aged using oxidization is a good start. Typically, oxidization in wine is a bad thing. However, when it is done on purpose, oxidization in wine can create a very unique effect in the flavours. The method helps to remove the more vegetal flavours from the wine, leaving only the most sophisticated ones to be tasted.
5. Wine & Chocolate dipped fruit
Light sparkling wines or Champagne are excellent choices for chocolate dipped fruit. This is because the bubbles will bring out the fruity flavours. Zinfandel or Port wines also pair well with chocolate dipped fruit, as they do with many other chocolate options, because of their sweet and bold flavours.
6. Wine & Peanut butter and chocolate
Acidic wines go well with peanut butter chocolate due to the ability for the acidity to balance out the richness of the peanut butter. For this, a Pinot Noir is an excellent choice. However, these delicious chocolate treats could also be paired with a wine rich in berry flavours, to give the combination a peanut butter and jelly kind of vibe.
7. Wine & Mint chocolate
The lightness and sharp coolness of mint mixed with chocolate pairs extremely well with bold red wine. Zinfandel wine is commonly paired with mint chocolate, as is Cabernet Sauvignon. The bold flavours, high acidity, and solid tannins commonly found in these wines offer solid contrast to the mint. You could also pair minty chocolates with wines containing mint undertones.