Chocolate and wine are undoubtedly the two greatest indulgences, but when paired together perfectly, they somehow become even better. It can, however, be challenging to expertly pair the two because if you combine a wine and chocolate with different types of tannin, it can leave an unpalatable, bitter taste in your mouth. To help you create the ultimate pairings, we have compiled a list of chocolates along with the wines we recommend serving them with.
Since quality milk chocolate consists of half chocolate and half cream, the fat content in the cream makes milk chocolates one of the easiest to pair with wines.
Recommended Wine With Milk Chocolate:
- Brachetto d’Acqui: a sweet sparkling wine that pairs nicely with chocolate mousse.
- Late-Harvested Red Wines: Port style wines including late harvest Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Petite Sirah.
- Recioto della Valpolicella: an exceptionally rare, sweet red wine.
- Ruby Port: a more spiced and berry-driven pairing.
- Banyuls or Maury: these wines contain earthier notes that will particularly complement chocolate truffles.
- Rutherglen Muscat: this is perhaps one of the sweetest wines in the world.
- Lambrusco di Zurbaran: this sparkling red wine contains delicate flavors of peach and strawberry.
When serving dark chocolate, the most important task at hand is to balance out its bitterness with the right wine.
Recommended Wine With Dark Chocolate:
- Vin Santo del Chianti: this wine has rich, sweet flavors of cherries, cinnamon, and a fine nuttiness.
- Port-style Red Wines: there are several Port-style wines that can balance dark chocolate, including Zinfandel (with cayenne chocolate), Malbec (with ginger chocolate) and Petite Sirah (with coffee chocolate).
- Port: the original Port from Portugal often has traces of cinnamon spice and pairs well with chocolates with high cacao percentages.
- Pedro Ximinez: this wine contributes nutty flavors to dark chocolate and even goes well with espresso.
- Chinato: this aromatized wine has subtle notes of cherry and exotic spices.
Unlike the aforementioned chocolates, white chocolate does not contain cocoa. However, it is one of the few chocolates that will pair well with a dry red wine.
Recommended Wine With White Chocolate:
- Pinot Noir: the white chocolate helps convey the Pinot Noir’s sweet flavors of red cherries, strawberries, and raspberries.
- Beaujolais: this is a light-bodied red wine similar to Pinot Noir.
- Moscato drastic: since white chocolate is delicate enough to match with white wines, this wine delivers flavors of peaches and cream with floral notes of roses.
- Brachetto d’Acqui: this wine contains creamy raspberry notes with a subtle hint of peonies.
- Ice Wine: depending on the varieties used to make the ice wine, the white chocolate will highlight notes of pineapple, lemon meringue, and creamy candied oranges.
- Rosé Port: this wine offers rich flavors of sweet strawberries and currant.
When you are dealing with a wide array of chocolate varieties — such as chocolates containing nuts, caramel, fruit, ginger, and more — here are a few recommended pairings.
Recommended Wine With Flavored Chocolate:
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries: it is advisable that you turn to sweet sparkling red wines, including Brachetto d’Acqui and Lambrusco Amiable.
- Ginger Dark Chocolate: Orange Muscat pairs marvelously with ginger.
- Peanut Butter Cups: wines boasting some sweetness and nuttiness such as Madeira, Marsala, and Amontillado work best.
- Caramel Chocolates: with caramel flavored chocolates you will want to select wines aged with oxidation, including Tawny Port and Muscatel de Setubal.
- Chocolate Mint: the optimal choices are a single-varietal Syrah, Touriga Nacional, or Petite Sirah Port.