When you think of Valentine’s Day, what comes to mind? Flowers, wine & chocolate, right? Many times, people will pick up their favorite wine & grab a box of chocolate or maybe some chocolate covered strawberries. Then, when it’s time to enjoy, something tastes off. Either the wine doesn’t taste like much or you get a bitter taste. It won’t ruin your Valentine’s Day, but a little switch might help. We are not wine snobs at Four Fathers, but we do want to help you pick out a wine that’s right for your chocolate.
Generally, the rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine. It’s all about the intensity – a lighter red or a white won’t taste like much with an intense chocolate flavor. Let’s look at some pairings.
White Chocolate – light & sweet vanilla will go nicely with a Moscato, Rose, Riesling or a fruity Chardonnay
Milk Chocolate – Pretty sweet, try this chocolate with Merlot, Pinot Noir, Port or even a Riesling.
Dark Chocolate – For one less than 70%, you can try a more intense wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir & Chianti
Bittersweet Chocolate – These 70% – 100% dark chocolates have become more popular recently. A Shiraz, Malbec or Bordeaux would go well here.
Filled, Flavored & Coated – So many options here, it will depend on the sweetness of the candy & the intensity of the chocolate. For example, try a caramel filled milk chocolate with Pinot Noir or mint dark chocolate with a Zinfandel or Cab Sav.
Champagnes and sparkling wines all go well with chocolate, too.
Of course, these are just some ideas to start out the wine & chocolate pairings. It really all comes down to your personal preference. Tell us what some of your favorite pairings are in the comments below.
For more info about the “science” behind the pairings, check this out – Wine & Chocolate – 8 Things You Didn’t Know . It’s one of the best non-wine snob articles I’ve seen on the subject.