Romance is in the air! February has come around, and it’s the season of love again! You’ve shopped for the outfit you’re going to be in, you’ve set aside the scent you’re going to wear, and you’ve made preparations for a dinner date. You know what will make that evening complete? Wine and chocolates! But, you have to know the right combinations first, so that you can make sure that your date night will be perfect. What chocolates best complement the wine bottle you bought?
Tips on How to Pair Wine and Chocolates
Nothing spells romance better than wine and chocolates. These two items are both considered aphrodisiacs, and this is why they are among the most sellable products on the Day of Hearts. This Valentine’s Day, have a truly wonderful time with your date by having the right pairing of wine and chocolate.
Picking a bar of chocolate to pair with your wine bottle can be very tricky. The truth is ,there is no strict rule on how to pair vinos and chocos. Since each person’s palate has a different preference, the best guide is your own taste buds.
Although your preferences may be subjective, it would be helpful to have a guideline to follow. That’s why we’ve come up with these tips below. Learn from these tips and be a better lover by partnering the right wines with the right chocolates.
Sexy Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is called dark chocolate because it has a higher cocoa content compared to other varieties. Most dark chocolate confections have at least 35% cocoa solids. This amount of cocoa makes this kind of chocolate relatively more dry and tannic than others.
When you pair a tannic dish to a tannic wine, the tannins cancel out each other. The best pair for dark chocolate, in other words, is a wine that is rich in tannins. A 70% dark chocolate, for example, when paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon, will have its tannins stabilized. Moreover, the tannin-neutralization effect will help reveal the fruit notes of the wine.
If you’re planning to enjoy a bar of dark chocolate after dinner on Valentine’s Day, here are a few wines that we recommend pairing it with:
The original Port wine from Portugal has hints of cinnamon spice in its flavor, and it pairs pleasurably with chocolates that have higher levels of cacao.
2. Port-style Red Wines
Port-style wines, such as Zinfandel, Malbec, and Petite Sirah have intense flavors that can balance the bitterness in dark chocolate.
3. Pedro Ximenez
Imported from the Montilla-Moriles region in Spain, this type of wine is made to be enjoyed in small sips only. When paired with dark chocolate, the Pedro Ximenez will give you nutty and raisin-like flavors that are pleasantly surprising.
Sultry White Chocolate
Dark chocolate is made by combining cocoa butter to sugar and cocoa powder, without mixing any milk solids. White chocolate, on the other hand, is made from cocoa butter, which is a type of vegetable fat that has cocoa aroma and flavor. The absence of chocolate liquor or cocoa powder in white chocolate makes it soft, mellow, and buttery in flavor.
White chocolate is best paired with sweeter types of wine, like aperitifs and sparkling wine. It matches well also with dry wines. Here are a few suggestions of wines that best match the mellowness of white chocolates:
The high fat content of white chocolate is marvelously able to enhance the sweet flavors of Pinot Noir. Notes of cherries, strawberries, and raspberries, which are found in this wine are tastefully unveiled when paired with a bar of white choco.
2. Moscato d’Asti
This sparkling wine makes white chocolate feel creamier in your mouth. Their pairing beautifully delivers delectable flavors of peaches and cream with floral notes of roses.
3. Brachetto d’Acqui
When you pair the Brachetto d’Acqui with white chocolate, you’ll experience wonderful raspberry notes accentuated with subtle flavors of peonies.
4. Ice Wine
Ice wine, like Riesling and Vidal Blanc, can offer interesting notes of pineapple, lemon, and orange when paired with a bar of white chocolate.
Sensual Milk Chocolate
What’s the difference between milk chocolate and white chocolate? Milk and dark chocolate both have cocoa solids in their ingredients, while white chocolate does not. Milk chocolate, in other words, is very similar to dark chocolate, but with larger portions of milk added.
If you’re planning to have milk chocolate with your date on Valentine’s Day, here are a few suggested wines that you could pair with it:
1. Banyuls or Maury
This French wine has distinctive earth notes in its flavor, which makes it a perfect match for milk chocolates.
2. Lambrusco di Sorbara
This sparkling red wine, when paired with milk chocolate, has enhanced notes of peach and strawberry flavors.
A Place to Keep Your Wines
Wine, just like chocolate, is sellable on Valentine’s Day. But, this should not stop you from enjoying this heavenly elixir the entire year-round! You can have wine on a regular basis, as long as you do so moderately.
Keep your favorite wines in a safe storage place. We can help you build a dependable and aesthetically pleasing custom wine cellar for your bottles. Our team of builders has over a decade of experience in the construction of residential and commercial wine storage facilities in California.