Wine & Chocolate: The Perfect Pairing for Valentine’s Day (Or Any Other Day of The Year)

Posted January 29, 2017

Stacy Brody

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Wine pairing ideas for your Valentine's Day, whether you spend the holiday with your loved one, your sister, or alone on your couch watching The Notebook

How do you find the best match when you have the whole spectrum of wine, not to mention chocolate, from which to choose?? It’s like trying to find the best fish in the sea or sort through Match.com. It’s way overwhelming.

 

This Valentine's Day, it's going to be easier!

 

When preparing your pairing, consider:

1. The wine should be sweeter than the chocolate. If not, it will taste bitter. 

2. The wine and chocolate should have similar flavors, i.e. toffee with toffee, or contrasting flavors, i.e. bright berries with cocoa. 

3. The wine should have enough acidity to cleanse the palate between bites.

 

A few general recommendations from which to start:

White chocolate: It isn't really chocolate at all, but pure cocoa butter. That fact aside, it's deliciously rich and sweet. Choose a wine with bright acidity and even a bit of sparkle. Try Lambrusco or Brachetto for a playful berries-and-cream pairing. An ice wine offers more indulgence. 

 

Milk chocolate: Generally sweet, creamy, and relatively mild. Try with an aged Vintage Port, something that is starting to take on some secondary characteristics. Looking forward to some great Valentine's Days with your partner, start aging a young Vintage Port now! For a more chocolate-covered strawberry-type pairing, try Bugey-Cerdon, which has a natural sparkle to it. 

 

Dark chocolate: This is what I call real chocolate. Pair these more intensely-flavored selections with Ruby and Late Bottled Vintage Ports. The rich berry flavors and surprising acidity of port marry well with the deep intensity of the chocolate. Equally decadent and intense, Zinfandel. If the chocolate isn't too dark, try sparkling Shiraz for something fun and lively. 

 

Filled chocolates: The filling is going to dictate the pairing. Anything with caramel, nuts or toffee, go for a tawny portMadeira and Amontillado sherry, which also offer those "oxidative" flavors.

 

Want to really impress this year? Go for a decadent Champagne and box of assorted chocolates. 

 

No matter how you celebrate, we wish you a very sweet Valentine's Day!

 
 
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