More often than not, we think cheese is the only perfect match for wines. But there’s something wonderful and magical about the chocolate we want to try over a cool glass of wine. However, pairing wine and chocolate can be complex and challenging, unlike other foods like cheese.
Why is that so? It’s all because chocolates have unique flavors. Are you curious about what wine goes with chocolate and how to find the perfect wine? So, come along, and let’s find your chocolate an ideal wine match.
Tips to have Fantastic Wine Pairings with Chocolates
Some people say wine and chocolate would not make the best pair. The truth is balancing the taste of chocolate with wine can be pretty tricky and challenging. Blending them can make them taste sour and bitter.
But if the pairing is pulled off correctly, complementing chocolate with the right wine is remarkable. So, whether you want to pair subtle but dark chocolate or you want wine for your creamy milk chocolate, here are the pairing tips you must keep in mind.
1. Choose soft, silky, and velvety wines
It is no doubt that both wines and chocolate have dry and intense flavors. Most of the time, when one matches bittersweet dark chocolate with higher tannin wines, the taste can be strong and overwhelming.
Remember that soft, silky, and velvety wines are chocolate’s ultimate best friends to discover the perfect balance. Juicier and softer wines are chocolate’s fantastic pairs.
2. Pair chocolate with their similar wines
If it’s your first time pairing chocolates with wines, the golden rule is to stick to wines with the same weight and style. While this may not apply to other food and wine pairings, this is the right thing to use when looking for the best wines to go with your chocolates.
Chocolates with solid and intense flavors can work well with full-bodied wines. On the other hand, light-bodied wines would go a long way with mild-flavored chocolates.
3. Always find sweeter wines
While it may sound the opposite, you can always pair sweeter wines with chocolate. And sweeter wines do not only include dessert wines. In the sophisticated world of wines, sweeter wines refer to ripe and fruit-flavored wines.
When wines have a fruity aroma, texture, and taste, they can balance cocoa’s solid and bitter flavors.
4. Go from light to dark
And also, concerning wine and chocolate pairing, it will be helpful to start with mild-flavored wines and not too subtle chocolates. But as you move along, you can start increasing the intensity of flavors. So, begin with light wines and white chocolates. Finally, save the dark, rich-flavored chocolates with full-bodied wines last.
5. Think of other ingredients
Last but not least, consider the other ingredients your chocolates have. For instance, if chocolates have caramel, nuts, or other fruits, these flavors will indeed play with the taste of the wine.
So, if you want to find your cranberry chocolates their perfect wine pair, it will be best to look for fruity red blends with berry notes.
White Chocolate & Best Wine Pairings
White chocolate is made of milk, sugar, and cocoa butter. If you’re an avid fan of white chocolates, you would know that it has honey and creamy undertones with a buttery, sweet flavor.
While chardonnay is often overlooked and considered an underrated pair of chocolate, it can be the chocolate’s perfect match. Blending your chocolate with a friendly and lovely oaked Chardonnay can give your white chocolate a creamy texture. On the other hand, an unoaked Chardonnay will give nutty and pear undertones.
Rose wine would do wonders with white chocolate. If you want to try it, look for a blush wine with raspberry or strawberry undertones to blend with white chocolate.
Like champagne and Cabernet Sauvignon, known as popular pairs of white chocolate, rose wine is also a good idea. It feels like you’re blending white chocolate with a hint of strawberries.
Gewurztraminer showcases notes of lime, lychee, and spice. While it may be less sweet than Riesling, Gewurztraminer would exceptionally blend with white chocolate. It can be a dessert wine for your white chocolate. On top of everything, Gewurztraminer presents a delicious palate that combines with white chocolate’s creaminess.
Late Harvest Riesling
Late-harvest Riesling is a sweet wine with cinnamon, spice, apricot, and lemon curd undertones. Because of its rich flavor, this wine could blend perfectly with white chocolate’s nutty sweetness.
Dark Chocolate & Best Wine Pairings
For its potent health benefits, dark chocolate is genuinely loved by all. This type of chocolate has semi-sweet to bitter flavors that can taste 50% to 100% cacao. Most of the time, you would find dark chocolates with intense flavor.
Generally speaking, dark chocolates have polyphenols which cause their bitter flavor. So, the rule of thumb is to find bolder wines that can stand up to dark chocolate. It can be an exciting pair of dark chocolates if you can find wines with chocolate undertones. Here are the best wine pairings of dark chocolate to give you an idea.
Zinfandel possesses a raw intensity that can balance the taste of dark chocolate. All the things we want to enjoy with dark chocolate can be found in this wine. It is full-bodied, with fruity notes and the right amount of sugar to make dark chocolate extra sweet. Plus, the excess alcohol this wine has does not affect the dark chocolate’s flavor.
Sometimes, Zinfandel can be too heavy or bold with white chocolate. However, it is not impossible to find the right pair of Zin, which could be the heavenly pair of your white chocolate.
But Zinfandels are indeed a stand-out when it comes to dark chocolate. Because of its higher alcohol levels, fruit and spice undertones, and entire body, this wine is the ultimate go-to for dark chocolates.
Shiraz derives its name from Syrah, and most of this type of wine originates from Australia. Featuring a fruit-forward flavor, Shiraz is a great but natural match for dark chocolate.
On top of that, since Shiraz has warm spice notes and black pepper undertones, it can go well with dark chocolate’s medium intensity and red berry notes.
New World Red blends have juicy and bursting combinations of black currant, raspberry, cherry, and blackberry. Because of these fruity notes, red blends are the best combination of dark chocolate. These wines will bring to like the complex but delightful flavor of dark chocolate.
Because of its natural strongness in flavor and its entire profile, Cabernet Sauvignon makes it to the list of best wines to pair with dark chocolate.
However, it would be best always to be careful when picking Cabernet Sauvignon. Because of its intensity and higher tannin levels can bring awful taste when you match it with dark chocolate.
So, it will be better to pick a stainless-aged Cabernet Sauvignon with a lighter taste and fruity-dominated undertones. Usually, this type of wine contains extra sugar, which can complement dark chocolate’s bitterness.
So, for a phenomenal pairing, add Cabernet Sauvignon when you have your favorite white chocolate.
Milk Chocolate & Best Wine Pairings
Milk chocolate is perhaps the most popular chocolate that people genuinely love. On top of that, it can be the easiest to blend with wines. Milk chocolates have a creamy taste showcasing half cream and dark chocolate flavors.
You can find it in various kinds, from traditional chocolates to heavenly chocolates filled with cocoa powder. So, here are the best wine pairings you could have with milk chocolates.
Moscato d’ Asti
Moscato d’ Asti is a dessert wine jump-packed with a natural sweetness that can genuinely satisfy anyone. It is a light-bodied wine with orange zest flavors, lychee, lime, and peach undertones. And as we’ve said earlier, the golden rule to finding a fantastic wine is to pair chocolates with sweeter wines.
Brachetto d’ Acqui
Next on our list is another light-bodied and sweet wine. Brachetto d’ Acqui is another excellent match for milk chocolates, featuring raspberry syrup notes.
Here is an all-around wine that could blend well with any food. To match it with milk chocolate, try to pick a medium to light-bodied Pinot Noir with fruity undertones. Its cherry, cinnamon, and light herb bouquet undertones make it a natural partner of milk chocolate.
Riesling is a white wine from Germany. It features a hint of sweetness with fruity undertones such as peach, citrus, orange peel, and honey. This rich and light wine will melt with milk chocolate like a cherry on top of a cake.
Final Takeaway on Wine & Chocolate Pairing
At first, knowing what wine goes with chocolate can be challenging and tiring. But it’s not the end. Following our tips and looking at this quick sheet, you can have the best wine and chocolate party.
And on the last note, don’t forget that finding the best wine for your favorite chocolate starts with the lighter ones before going to the much bolder and darkest taste!