Love is in the air! It’s finally that time of the year again. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’re sure that you want to do something truly romantic for your significant other. What’s more romantic than taking your S/O for a dreamy date and having wine and chocolate together?
Although both wine and chocolates are aphrodisiacs, that doesn’t mean that they will always go together well. You’ve to be extremely careful while choosing a wine and chocolate pairing if you really want to impress your date. After all, you don’t want to be like Chandler who would probably mess up with the pairing choice and piss Monica off.
Is Pairing Wine With Chocolate A Good Idea?
Before you try to pair your favorite wine with your favorite chocolate, you must know one thing. If there’s any kind of imbalance in the tastes of both items, your tongue will probably shrivel up and the combination will leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Always remember this, having dry wine with dark chocolate is a bad idea because the flavors clash too much. If you are hell-bent on having a classy wine and chocolate date, let us give you some amazing suggestions on what pairings you should go for during your date.
White Chocolate and Wine
Let us start with a sweet that isn’t chocolate in its truest sense (white chocolate isn’t made up of cocoa). White chocolate has a rich creamy and buttery flavor that goes wonderfully with light as well as dry wines.
What Do We Suggest?
You’ll be shocked to know that something as simple as a Pinot Noir is the way to go if you are fond of white chocolate. The playful combination of white chocolate and the cherry-strawberry-raspberry flavors of a beautiful Pinot Noir hits the sweet spot on your tongue instantly. You could also substitute your Pinot Noir with a Beaujolais if you want to try something new.
If you want to start with something more exciting, you can pair white chocolate with the sparkling, bubbly Moscato d’Asti which will bring out the rich creamy and frothy nature of the white chocolate. For those wanting something more sophisticated can try out a combination of Rosé Port with white chocolate. Another great choice for a classy date would be trying out New World Zinfandel along with white chocolate. However, this combination is an acquired taste, it might not agree with everyone.
Milk Chocolate And Wine
While milk chocolate is super creamy and sinfully delicious, you can enhance its taste by pairing it with lighter wines that leave a tingly fruity after-taste in your mouth. Milk chocolate will let you explore some hidden flavors of the lighter wines.
What Do We Suggest?
A Sauvignon Blanc paired with milk chocolate is a very interesting combination. The milk chocolate really boosts the silky persistent element of the Sauvignon Blanc that otherwise remains hidden. Brachetto d’Acqui, the bubbly wine from Italy, and the late harvest classic reds like Pinot Noir, Petit Sirah, and Syrah should generally be your first choice for a refined experience.
Valentine’s Day is the time when you’d want to spice things up a little bit (not just your palate!) A Ruby Port which is on the spicier side with hints of berry can be just the perfect one for you. If you are crazy about fruity flavors, a glass of Lambrusco di Sorbara along with some milk chocolate should do the trick. Even some Merlot-based wines from the beautiful Napa Valley or a New World Zinfandel paired with some milk chocolate leave you with a playful sensation on your tongue.
Dark Chocolate and Wine
You may be surprised to know that the chemical element that gives wines and chocolates a bitter taste is the same. You have to strike the right chord especially when you are working with dark chocolate. The key to a beautiful pairing is to find a sweet wine that contrasts the bitterness of the dark chocolate.
What Do We Suggest?
A Vin Santo del Chianti paired with a dark chocolate dessert ends up being a rich and luscious flavor party in your mouth. Wines of high intensity like different kinds of port wines cut the bitter taste of dark chocolate and the combination tastes heavenly. Some of our favorite port wine pairings include coffee chocolate with Petite Sirah, Malbec along with ginger chocolate, and Zinfandel with cayenne chocolate.
Have you ever tried Amarone della Valpolicella? This wine originates from the Northeastern side of Italy where grapes are dried before fermentation. Because of this, the wine has a sweet fruity taste along with a hint of dried figs. This wine goes delightfully well with any kind of dark chocolate. This combination is the personal favorite of several professional chefs as well.
If you don’t want to enjoy your date in a ‘fruity style’, you can go for a Pedro Ximenez, a brown-colored wine from Spain that should ideally be drunk in small quantities. It enhances the flavors of the dark chocolate by giving it a raisin-ish and nutty twist. This wine tastes good with espresso as well.
Dark Chocolate and Dry Wines
You might want to pair a beautiful silky piece of dark chocolate with a wine like Cabernet Sauvignon. The combination sounds so enticing that you want to try it out immediately. However, in reality, this combination is a death wish because it will leave a weird bitter taste in your mouth. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to pair up these two elements.
What Do We Suggest?
Some dry red wines have a certain amount of residual sugar which works extremely well when paired with dark chocolate. You can definitely try to pair dark chocolate with Shiraz wines, Zinfandel, Malbec, and Red Blends. Some desserts made from dark chocolate also work with dry wines as they have some starch as well as fats that can cut the bitterness of both the chocolate and the wine.
Flavored Chocolate and Wine
If you have a sweet tooth, we are sure that you’d like to mix things up a little bit and make chocolate more interesting. You could be someone who likes to add things like nuts, caramel, fruits, ginger, etc. to your chocolate. Let us try to give you a few wine suggestions that will make your dessert interesting.
- Bubbly and sparkling wine like Lambrusco Amabile and Brachetto d’Acqui paired with strawberries that are covered in chocolate leaves you with a pleasant feeling.
- A Petite Sirah Port with chocolate mint is a must-try combination.
- Orange Muscat paired with ginger dark chocolate leads to a refreshing fusion of flavors.
- Sweet wines like Madeira, Oloroso Sherry or Marsala do wonders with peanut butter cups.
Having wine and chocolate with your significant other can be a very intimate experience. To be honest, perfect pairings that we mentioned above can be a soothing and enjoyable experience in itself. You can just take a break from your hectic life, switch on your TV and have this heavenly experience all by yourself. You will have to try different pairings before you find the right combination for yourself. We guarantee that you will fall in love this Valentine’s Day, be it with your date or with your wine and chocolate!
Also Read: 4 Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats With Chocolate| 4 Romantic Valentine’s Day Meals To Celebrate Your Love For Food