Posts Tagged milk chocolate

Pairing Wine and Chocolate!

Wine and chocolate are a romantic and tasty combination. With the recent focus on dark chocolate and “percent cocoa,” how do you choose the right wine for the chocolate you painstakingly picked out?

Just as I recommend pairing wine and food, match the weight of the chocolate with the weight of the wine. Strong chocolate that’s not sweet goes well with a powerful and robust wine (think Cabernet Sauvignon). As chocolates get sweeter, sweeten the wine–a bit more than the chocolate! As the chocolate gets lighter (e.g., white chocolate) go with fresh and flavorful white wines.

For dark or bittersweet chocolate, match with big wines with their own hint of chocolate. Powerful and robust Cabernet Sauvignon from California or Washington and Zinfandels work perfectly with rich, dark chocolates. But don’t forget the big blended wines; they come from the US, Australia, South America, France, and Italy and they can complement the roasted bitterness of these chocolates.

Milk chocolate–a medium weight chocolate–needs a smooth medium weight wine. For a great white wine choice, go with a fresh and flavorful Riesling. A slightly sweet Spätlese would be ideal. Our own Oregon Pinot Noir-a smooth and fruity red wine-works beautifully too. And, of course, Muscat or late harvest wines (specialty dessert wines) work very well with milk chocolate.

White chocolate is made primarily with cocoa butter but no other cocoa products and has a buttery, mellow taste. Try a Moscato d’Asti sparkling wine from Italy or a sparkling Muscat from France for a great match. The nutty taste of Sherry from Spain also goes well with the creamy texture.

I also like chocolate combined with fruit and nut flavors. Smooth and fruity wines like rich Merlots and Zinfandels enhance the fruit flavors. While Ports, Madeiras, and Sherrys taste wonderful with nutty flavors. There are even specially blended wines of Port with chocolate and Sherry with hazelnuts–absolutely heavenly with chocolates … or without!

No matter what, I always advise people to drink the wine they like! If you love Cabernet and want to drink it with white or milk chocolate, I say “go for it”!

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