Happy Valentine’s Day! If you can, spend some time with that special someone and impress them with a fantastic experience. If you take some time to do a little preparation for this Valentine’s Day, you’re sure to put together something they’ll love. Pairing chocolate with the right wine can bring out the best in both and if you have one in mind, you may want to choose the second to match.
Some people say opposites attract and some say that it is best to have match similar flavours together. A good general rule is to keep the wine slightly sweeter than the chocolate you’re eating. That said, if you aren’t into sweet wines, matching the intensity level of a wine with the strength in a chocolate can also give you great results. Of course, there’s always room to experiment and try new pairings if something doesn’t immediately work out.
When it comes to a sweet, light chocolate, try to match the wine and the chocolate in tone and body. A white chocolate should go with a sweeter, light-bodied wine like a Riesling, Moscato, Icewine, or Sherry. It will be a delicate flavor, unless mixed with other flavours, so keep in mind that the wine in this pairing will most likely be the star of the show.
Lighter in body than dark chocolate and richer than white, milk chocolate is a sweet, smooth choice that pairs well with a lot of classic middle-of-the road wines. A great midpoint between sweet and bitter, milk chocolate will go well with something like a Pinot Noir. If you have milk chocolate-dipped fruit or chocolate filled with a fruity ganache, dry sparkling wines like Champagne and Prosecco will go well with it.
Match the rich tannins in a bittersweet chocolate with the bold flavours in a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, or Shiraz. You can also choose from some lovely fortified wines like sweet Ports, Banyuls, or Sherry. You may find the fruity elements of a good dark chocolate can be brought out more by the fruity elements of a rich wine, lending a very citrusy, almost floral quality to both.
As always, tastes vary, and we encourage you to take these recommendations with a grain of salt as you may find some things don’t pair as well for you as others. If in doubt, you’re the best judge of taste for you and you should make the right call for you. If you stick with what you like, you’re sure of a winning combination! You can try making a wine and chocolate pairing on your own by opening a few bottles of wine and a few bars of good quality chocolate and mixing and matching until you land on the best pairing for your palate. Better yet, make a whole evening of it with your special someone! Have a little tasting of chocolate and wines and take note of what each of you liked for next time.
If you need a little help, check out our selection of wine and chocolate gift baskets and sets that include delightful goodies for you and your sweetheart to share on your special night! Of course, if you use any of our tips for your romantic occasion, please let us know! We’d love to hear about it.