Photo credits: blog.brandwinecvb.org
The one day of the year where chocolate and wine is absolutely necessary – Valentine’s Day. After all, who doesn’t love a good chocolate and wine pairing. When matched well, your palates are bound to be delighted. Unfortunately, this dynamic duo often clashes, thanks in large part to the chocolate’s simultaneously sweet, smoky, bitter and acidic flavors.
In celebration of the season of love, we sought out expert opinions – and have brought to you some delicious wine and chocolate pairings
A truly great milk chocolate will appease even the most ardent dark chocolate lover. The recommended wines in general are: Montilla-Moriles, PX Sherry, Creamy Sherry, Aged Vintage Port, Rutherglen Muscat. We’d reckon that our Quinta do Vale Meao Vintage Port 2012 would be a perfect match for milk chocolates of any kind. Aged in second and third year French Allier oak for 12 months, this charming Port has restrained power and sweetness on the finish – a perfect complement to the creamy sensation of a milk chocolate truffle. The 2012 vintage presents a light side for most of Douro, and this gives it a very balanced and elegant finish. The cream within the milk chocolate adds a little extra fat so you will find it working better with this particular Port wine.
Caramel adds sweet salinity to chocolate. They are the perfect harmony of sweet, salty, fat and bitter within a single chocolate piece. This presents a truly interesting idea of pairing with wine, and it can either be congruent or complimentary. With that in mind, we’d recommend the Marenco Strev Moscato d’Asti DOCG 2014. With a pleasantly sweet and aromatic palate, the Moscato d’Asti consigns itself as a dessert wine beaming with excellence – and even more so when paired with a slice of Caramel Chocolate. Because of its versatility, this wine also lends itself to unusual combinations with appetizers, raw fish and sushi.
A true dark chocolate is one where no milk solids are added. Its percentage of cocoa can vary from 35% to as high as 99% (which can be very dominating). Dark chocolates typically don’t like to share ‘palate space’ with other bitter, non-sweet things due to its very intense flavour. Despite that, we’ve managed to find the perfect match after endless rounds of tasting. Try a glass of Isole e Olena Vin Santo 2006! One of the best Italian Vin Santo as many wine professionals proclaimed, this dessert wine is aged 5 years in barrel with only a limited amount of bottles allocated each year. An opulent dessert wine, which combines smoothness and richness, you’d be surprised that it actually complements the bitterness and intensity of a dark chocolate.