For the love of Wine…and chocolate

For the love of Wine…and chocolate



Wine and chocolate have a lot of similarities. For one, they’re both considered aphrodisiacs and they’re both good for you because they contain flavanols (antioxidants). They can also have similarities in terms of texture, sweetness, bitterness, and flavor elements. When done correctly, chocolate can bring about the beautiful, hidden features in your wine that might go unnoticed. Despite these striking similarities, it’s somewhat challenging to pair wine and chocolate principally because of tannins and sugar.


First, beware of the tannins! Tannins are compounds present in tea, red wine and you guessed right, cocoa. Tannins create an astringent and drying sensation on the tongue; so, the first thing to consider is the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate and the tannin content of the wine. The darker the chocolate, the more tannins. That is why you have to be careful not to saturate your palate with a bold red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Nebbiolo for example) and a high percentage of cacao. This could bring out bitterness in wine that is too pronounced and unpleasant.


The second element is the sugar content in the wine and the chocolate. If you are drinking a dry wine with acidity, and you layer plain sweet chocolate, the disparity in sweetness wine will taste more sour and bitter and it becomes hard to taste the fruit flavors in your wine. Try to pair comparable levels of sweetness, think chocolate with port.


Here is a cheat sheet you cannot go wrong with:



Pairs well with Off Dry Sparkling Wine

White chocolate, which is made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, has a sweet, buttery flavor with notes of honey and cream. A sparkling wine with perceptible sweetness but also creaminess from the aging will be in perfect harmony. Try this semi-sweet sparkling from Spain. The Gramona Gran Cuvee De Postre Dulce Corpinnnat is aged for 30 months, which is unusual in this type of sparkling wine expressly designed to accompany dessert.


Pairs well with Pinot Noir.

Milk chocolate is usually sweeter and creamier with flavors of brown sugar, vanilla, and cream. And while strawberries are sweet, they also have freshness and acidity. A shockingly good pairing, especially for chocolate and wine pairing disbelievers is young Pinot Noir. The chocolate acts as the fat that delivers sweet flavors of red cherries, strawberries, and raspberries found in the Pinot Noir. Try Domaine Mia Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2020 which is 100% Pinot Noir.


Pairs well with Malbec

The best pairing with Malbec is dark chocolate truffles. The chocolate is dense and the Malbec cuts through the cocoa powder that sticks to your tongue to create an exceptional and unique mouthfeel. Malbec is also famous for its underlying chocolaty flavors that will be highlighted with the pairing. But be careful with anything above 70% cacao .. the bitterness of the chocolate will also elevate the bitterness of the wine. The Neethlingshof Malbec 2019 from South Africa delivers rich flavors of prunes and raisins with oak spices and dark chocolate in the background. The soft tannins make it a good companion for chocolate.


DIY Pairings this Valentine’s Day…

If you are looking for an easy and fun, Do-it-Yourself way to experiment with wine and chocolate pairings, start by simply picking up a bottle of wine from our store, and pick up some bars of white, milk, and dark chocolate. By taking a "mix and match" approach to finding your own personal palate preferences you'll gain "hands-on" knowledge of which wines really complement which chocolate combinations and it’s a fun date idea!