Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and there’s no better time than now to start polishing up on your wine and chocolate knowledge!
But, pairing these two aphrodisiacs can be challenging, since both have heightened levels of flavanols (antioxidants) which, when put together, can clash on your palate and lead to a bitter aftertaste.
Thankfully, we’re here to share some tips on how to successfully couple these two together!
Usually about half chocolate and half cream, milk chocolate contains a lower percentage of liquor than dark chocolate, giving it a sweeter flavor and creamier texture. Because of its sweetened taste, it will go best with a sweeter wine.
- A lighter Pinot Noir or a medium-bodied Merlot will work well with the smooth character and cocoa butter components of milk chocolate
- Riesling or other dessert wines
- Also consider a sparkling wine or Champagne for pairing with milk-chocolate dipped fruits
The polyphenols in dark chocolate are similar to those in wine, giving both a somewhat bitter taste. Thus, dark chocolates call for a wine that offers a fuller body.
- Zinfandels, with their dense fruit and often higher alcohol levels, pair exceptionally well with dark chocolate
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Also consider a Pinot Noir or a Merlot to handle dark chocolate around the 55% cocoa mark
White chocolate isn’t technically a “true” chocolate because it doesn’t contain cacao (the brown part with all the flavanols), but it is the sweetest and mildest of all the varieties of chocolate. Composed of cocoa butter, milk and sweeteners, this chocolate-like sweet goes best with sweeter styles of Sherry and Moscato d’Asti.
- Zinfandels, since their tannin content softens under the chocolate’s fat profile and brings the ripe fruit undertones right to the surface