Wine & Chocolate Pairing Ideas For Your Valentine's Day
What could be better than some delicious chocolates and a great wine this Valentine's Day?
Here's our top tips to help you find the best match when you have the whole spectrum of wine, not to mention chocolate to choose from.
When preparing your pairing, consider these 3 things:
1. The wine should be sweeter than the chocolate. If not, it will taste bitter.
2. The wine and chocolate should have similar flavours, i.e. toffee with toffee, or contrasting flavours, i.e. bright berries with cocoa.
3. The wine should have enough acidity to cleanse the palate between bites.
Here's a few ideas to get you started:
White chocolate: It isn't really chocolate at all, but pure cocoa butter. That fact aside, it's deliciously rich and sweet. Choose a wine with bright acidity and even a bit of sparkle. Try Lambrusco or Brachetto (from the Italian Piedmont region) for a playful berries-and-cream pairing.
Milk chocolate: Generally sweet, creamy, and relatively mild. Try with an aged Vintage Port, for something different. For a more chocolate-covered strawberry-type pairing, try a dry crisp white, something which has a natural sparkle to it.
Dark chocolate: This calls for more intensely-flavoured selections, pair with Ruby and Late Bottled Vintage Ports. The rich berry flavours and surprising acidity of port marry well with the deep intensity of the chocolate. Equally decadent and intense, Zinfandel. If the chocolate isn't too dark, try sparkling Shiraz for something fun and lively.
Filled chocolates: The filling is going to dictate the pairing. Anything with caramel, nuts or toffee, go for a tawny port, Madeira and Amontillado sherry, which also offers those "oxidative" flavours.
Go on, go beyond just giving chocolates - you'll be glad you did.