With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, modern Romeos and Juliets will be searching for the perfect present for their significant other. Few gifts can profess one’s love as perfectly as well as a great wine and chocolate pairing. Because wine and chocolate are well-loved on their own – and like the perfect couple, they are even more lovable when paired together!
Here is our definitive guide on wine and chocolate pairing.
Dark chocolate tends to be bittersweet due to the higher ratio of cacao (typically 70% to 100%). This can also result in interesting notes of earth, wood or nuts.
To balance out the bitterness, opt for sweeter dessert wines such as Port or Pedro Ximinez. If the chocolates are more bold on the palate, then a fruit-forward, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon or Grenache will work wonders. A wine that is low in tannins will also serve to balance out the bitterness of the high cacao content.
As it does not contain Cacao, white chocolate is not a true chocolate – but its sweetness makes it the perfect pairing with a drier red. Pinot Noir is an excellent choice, as the white chocolate can coax out the mouth-watering flavours of cherries and berries found in the wine, while the effervescence lifts the palate.
If you’re feeling daring, consider a white-on-white pairing. German whites such as a Dry/Semi-Dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer will complement the sweetness of the white chocolate – making for a harmony of sweet and dry that is sure to hit a high note.
A very popular choice for its palatability, milk chocolate has lower cacao and higher sugar content, which tones down the earthiness in favour of notes of honey, vanilla and caramel. What results is a delicious chocolate that is very easy to pair, especially with lighter reds. Pinot Noir, Tempranillo and Grenache are prime options thanks to their fruit-forwardness which balances out the sweetness of milk chocolate without overpowering.