The strong tasting notes in both chocolate and wine can dissuade even enthusiasts from pairing the two. But by following just a few simple guidelines, harmonious pairings which enhance the taste of both the chocolate and the wine can be discovered.
Selecting Your Wines
When choosing wines to pair with chocolate, wines sweeter than the chocolate are best, as they will enhance the flavour of both elements of the pairing. Dry wines are not a good match, as the sweetness of chocolate accentuates the dryness of these wines, rather than the flavour. Tannins, the element in wine that gives it its dry characteristic, are also present in chocolate, so the higher the chocolate tannins, the higher the wine tannins can be. Many wines have tasting notes which naturally complement chocolate. Robust red wines with red fruit flavours for example, or white wines with flavours such as honey, nuts or tropical fruit are great choices for wine and chocolate pairings.
Selecting Your Chocolate
When pairing wine with chocolate, choose the best quality chocolate you can find. Not only does high quality chocolate have far more depth of flavour, it is also made with real cocoa butter which cuts through the astringency of wine. Single origin estate chocolate is best, as chocolate made with the beans from just one estate will have a flavour profile unique to that area. The varied flavours in luxury quality chocolate stimulate the taste buds and enable the subtle nuances of wine to come through.
Tasting Chocolate & Wine Together
To avoid overwhelming the palate, I recommend tasting the wine first, followed by the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt over the tongue, breathing in through the nose whilst tasting to release aromas. Cleanse the palate between tastings.
The ultimate goal of the pairing experience is to enjoy chocolate and wine together in a way that enriches the taste of both. Every connoisseur has their own preferences so, for maximum enjoyment, experiment to discover wonderful new marriages of flavour!
Why not conduct your own taste test with our luxury chocolates and fine dessert wines, chosen with care to form exquisite pairings.
And if you're interested in chocolate and wine tasting, we offer a unique and sophisticated chocolate and wine tasting event for corporate groups. Find out more here.