The Perfect Pair – A Wine and Chocolate Pairing Guide

05 Jul, 2016

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded earlier this week to Eric Betzig, Stephan W. Hell, and William E. Morerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. While the achievements of these scientists should be recognised by the international scientific community, Winerist petitions the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to consider our submission for the 2015 title:

Wine + Chocolate = Happiness

This equation may look simple, but pairing wine with chocolate can be a tricky endeavour. Both wines and chocolates come in a large range of flavours and weights which makes pairing the right type of chocolate with the right type of wine, a precise science.

White Chocolate with Ice WinePhoto Credit: Lee McCoy & Dominic Rivard 

White Chocolate

White Chocolate consists primarily of cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. The sweetness of white chocolates pairs best with sweeter wines. Ice wine is a type of dessert wine made in cold climates from grapes left to freeze on the vines. When the grapes freeze, their natural sugars become concentrated, resulting in intensely sweet flavours. Germany is especially know for its high quality ice wines called (eiswein) – and you can discover for yourself the charming villages, castles and vineyards of Pfalz on a half day wine tour.

Milk Chocolate and Vino Santo Photo credit: Gabriele Cantini & Moyen Brenn

Milk Chocolate

Vino Santo is a sweet wine unique to Tuscany. When you visit Tuscany, you are likely to see Vinsanto served as dessert along with dipping biscuits. The crunch when you bite into a piece of milk chocolate and its mild taste, mimic the mouth feel of the biscuits which pairs beautifully with the wine.

Treats from Ecuador

Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt

We were lucky to attend a chocolate themed event at Coya Restaurant in London where we had the opportunity to taste some great Ecuadorian chocolates paired with Ecuadorian wines. The chocolates were made by Montecristi Chocolate, Pacari Chocolate, and Hoja Verde Gourmet. Pacari Chocolate’s 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate with Salt and Nibs paired beautifully with Paradoja Wine’s 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon & Malbec blend. Red wines with notes of berries, chocolate, and cloves, harmonise well with the buttery, salty, and sweet flavours of the chocolate.

Chardonnay with chocolate covered strawberries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

South Africa wineries produce a range of wines, but most notably, great white wines. South African Chardonnays have bold fruity aromas which complement the high cacao content of a semi-sweet chocolate coating while highlighting the sweetness from the strawberries.

The best kind of chocolate Photo credit: Jamieanne 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Banyuls from Southern France is a classic pairing for chocolates, but we are mixing it up by pairing it with peanut butter chocolate cups! This fortified wine is viscous, with strong strawberry and spice flavours. If you are a fan of peanut butter and jam sandwiches, you are going to love this match made in heaven.

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