Now that we are starting to be inundated with images of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, here are some simple guidelines for pairing your goodies with wine. These pairings will ensure that you’ll bring out the best qualities in both the wine and chocolate, while not allowing one to dominate the other or creating a clash of flavors. First, there are two important rules to remember when pairing wine and chocolate.
Rule I – The wine should be at least as sweet, if not sweeter than the chocolate you are serving it with. Otherwise, the taste may veer towards sour.
Rule II - When pairing wines with chocolate, it’s better to match lighter, more elegant flavored chocolates with light-bodied wines and stronger flavored chocolates with full-bodied wines
(Slinkard, 2007). Here are some examples of pairings that you may want to try:
White Chocolate - pair with Sherry, Moscato d’Asti or Orange Muscat.
Milk Chocolate (This also applies to creamy chocolate mousse or chocolate cheesecake) - pair with a light bodied red such as a Merlot or Pinot noir. These also go well with whites such as Rieslings, Muscats or dessert wines.
Dark Chocolate - pair with full-bodied wines which have notes of roasted coffee or chocolate, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel.
Annette Solomon, CS