Wine and chocolate are not an easy match due to the inherent bitterness of each. Chocolate tends to overpower most wine, killing the subtleties in flavor and bringing wine’s bitter qualities to the forefront. A sweet chocolate paired with a less sweet wine will make the wine taste sour by comparison. If wine and chocolate are to be enjoyed together, it is best to chose a medium to full bodied wine that can stand up to the strong flavors of chocolate. Wines that have been aged in oak barrels or casks tend to embody more complexity of flavor and compete well with chocolate. Port and dark chocolate are a classic combination in large part because Port is about as sweet as most dark chocolate.
As with food pairing, when paring wine with chocolate, match lighter flavored chocolates with lighter bodied wines and more intense flavored chocolates with more full-bodied wines. “Lighter” chocolate doesn’t refer to white or milk verses dark, but the overall flavor of the piece. For example, a delicate dark chocolate ganache can be lighter in flavor than a spicy or nutty milk chocolate.
Dry wines match best with bitter chocolates while milk chocolate (and some dark) can be matched with wines that are slightly sweeter. Milk chocolates go nicely with wines that have fruity qualities while white chocolates go well with lighter wines, perhaps with a citrus quality.
As with all things chocolate, it really comes down to personal preference and the joy of the experience. If you like to drink wine with chocolate then be adventurous and follow these simple pairing rules: match like flavors with like and be sure to balance weights and textures.
Quick Reference Guide:
|Flavor of Chocolate||Recommended Chocolate Fetish Product||Wine Pairing|
|Extra Dark||Ecstasy Elite After Midnight Truffle
America’s Best Bittersweet Truffle
|Cabernet or Bordeaux|
|Medium Dark||Ecstasy Velvet Sin Truffle
Ecstasy Dragon’s Sigh Truffle
|Zinfandel, Merlot, or Shiraz|
|Smooth/Mild Dark||Ecstasy Champagne Truffle
Ecstasy Wine and Roses Truffle
|Riesling or Port|
|Milk||Ecstasy French Velvet Truffle
America’s Best Milk Chocolate Truffle
|Port, Sherry, or Dessert Wine|