What’s more indulgent than a great meal with the perfect glass of wine? How about a great dessert? If you’re a huge fan of chocolate like me, you know the joys of pairing the right glass with the right chocolate. And for those who find pairing the right wine with the right dessert to be a challenge, enjoy this handy guide for exactly what to serve for a night dedicated to self-care or time with your significant other. Either way, why not get the most out of your favorite chocolate (and your favorite wines)!
Milk Chocolate and Wine Pairing
Milk chocolate is the best possible pairing when you’re talking about wine and chocolate. It isn’t as bitter as dark chocolate, and much softer and creamer too. Enjoy a sweet, sparkling red like a port wine, or a late harvest red wine, with light, bright red notes. Muscat is also an excellent choice. Try it with a creamy chocolate mousse, or indulgent chocolate truffles.
Dark Chocolate and Wine Pairing
Dark chocolate can be bitter and can be overpowering when you’re drinking wine rich in tannins. It pairs best with a sweeter, richer wine, like a sherry, or a port rich in spices, to bring out the strong flavors of the dark chocolate, without overpowering with bitterness.
White Chocolate and Wine Pairing
White chocolate may not be considered “true” chocolate, because it doesn’t contain cacao, but it’s still delicious in your favorite dessert! And best of all, the sweet, creamy flavor is missing all the flavonoids that can sometimes make wine and chocolate overpowering to the pallet. White chocolate is the best for lovers of red wines. White chocolate pairs great with Pinot Noir, ice wines, or even a dry Zinfandel.
Ruby Chocolate and Wine Pairing
This relatively new kind of chocolate isn’t created artificially. In fact, it’s produced from recently-discovered red cacao beans. According to experts, ruby chocolate contains the same molecules and flavonoids that can be found in sparkling rose and some types of champagne. The fruity flavor of ruby chocolate pairs even better with wines than most varieties of chocolate.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Wine Pairing
Nutty flavors like peanut butter and chocolate work well with light, sweet wines like tawny port or sherry. These work great with everything from chocolate hazelnuts, to peanut butter cups.
Chocolate and Strawberries Wine Pairing
For the ultimate in decadence, you want to choose romantic chocolate-covered strawberries to make the night or chocolate-covered cherries. A ruby port, a rich merlot, or a cabernet sauvignon will give you the right balance between the fruity, the rich, and the bittersweet chocolate. Note: If your flavor of choice for fruity chocolate is more toward fruit ganache or fruit crème, You’ll love a good strawberry dessert wine, or a pinot noir instead.
Caramel or Toffee and Wine Pairing
Chocolate, toffee, and caramel offer similar nutty notes like peanut butter or hazelnut, though a bit sweeter. Choose buttery wines like sherry and port, or buttery white wines like a vintage blanc.
White wine fans may argue that wine and chocolate make for a bitter mix. Mixing up your chocolate with the perfect dessert wine, however, makes all the difference!