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Wine & chocolate pairing(s)?????


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  1. Port is the classic match to chocolate. I have also heard (once -- word-of-mouth about a Chateua Latour dinner) of matching it with really young, first growth Bordeaux--the wine is way too young, but the chocolate somehow balances it--although I think you are better cellaring those until you can appreciate them in their full glory.

    1. Try a dessert Muscat....

      liqueur muscat, black or orange muscat, with darker chocolate...

      With a lighter "milk" chocolate try a Moscato d'Asti.

      1. Since a server brought it to me in a restaurant recently, I've been having Banyuls with all my chocolate. Yum.

        4 Replies
        1. re: meganw

          wine should always taste as sweet as its accompanying dessert or it will fail to measure up. that eliminates about 95% of the world's wines.

          i agree on the banyuls, although it can be difficult to find. muscats (esp. black muscat), madeira, port and amontillado sherries can work, and also late harvest zins.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Depending on the chocolate (a hint of raspberry compote really helps), I favor a full-bodied Merlot, say a Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch. Merlot has an affinity for both chocolate and raspberry. Now, while full-bodied, and concentrated, compared to 95% of the Merlot on the market, it is not a sweet wine - it just pairs great.


            1. re: Bill Hunt

              Try it with some Pride merlot, as well (those babies are released today!)

              1. re: tdo ca

                Sounds like a deal. I'll bring a vertical of the Beringer HM BR Merlot, and you only have to bring ONE Pride! Deal? I have yet to score any of the Pride (AZ, though close on the map, is a real backwater), but would love to. Maybe one day, we will make it to the 21st century with regards to wine.


        2. Bourbon is my favorite match. It's not a wine, of course, but I like it because sweet wine with a sweet chocolate overloads and dulls my tastebuds. Too much of the same kind of taste kills my ability to appreciate nuance in either wine or chocolate.

          2 Replies
          1. re: cimui

            I'm curious if your palate finds a dry bourbon better with chocolate, or a sweeter bourbon...

            Also raises an interesting question if there's a good cocktail that mixes bourbon and a chocolate liqueur like Godiva... maybe kind of a "bourbon chocolate pecan" drink ??

            1. re: Chicago Mike

              seems like it'd depend on the chocolate, no? dry bourbon seems like it'd better with dark chocolate, but stranger things than a good sweet bourbon and dark chocolate match have surprised me. I'll have to mix and match a little more to see.

              i usually have knob creek in my liquor cabinet and as of late, I've been eating swiss milk chocolates with honey in it since that's what my supplier (sister in switzerland) has chosen to send my way.

              as for your second Q: a lot of chocolate "martinis" are bourbon and chocolate liqueur. a bourbon chocolate pecan drink sounds brilliant! or a bourbon + chocolate + amaretto...

          2. Important question - how sweet/dark is the chocolate? The answer will help pair with the wine. I like cabs with intense, dark chocolate (which, in my opinion, pair well with full wines).

            1 Reply
            1. re: tdo ca

              My SO loves this combo, too, but every non dessert wine I've ever had with chocolate ends up tasting sourish to me. I guess it can work with dark chocolate like you say, but I don't like that sour element enough to emphasize it.

            2. I love Oregon or Santa Maria Pinot Noir with chocolate. But the chocolate has to be semi sweet or bittersweet and excellent quality. Otherwise, I like a ruby port.

              1. 1. Malmsey Madeira -- voluptuous mouth feel, deep caramel and dried fruit flavors: 1st choice.
                2 PX Sherry (the dessert wine) -- molasses, dried flavor notes
                3. 20-year-old Tawny Port -- needs this long to develop its roasted nuts, dried fruit and caramel flavors.

                These three are all tremendously sexy wines, with luscious flavors that interact well with chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I've had them often with chocolate, especially dark chocolate, and the experiences have been remarkable.

                4. Ruby Port -- good, but not as good as the above. Even the simple Sandeman, with its walnut flavor notes, works fine.
                5. Red wine -- yes, it works but not as well as the other wines, and the chocolate must be 70-80% percent cacao solids or the wine tastes sour.

                1 Reply
                1. re: maria lorraine

                  Oops...meant to say PX Sherry (the dessert wine) -- molasses, dried *fruit* flavors..

                2. I am NOT a big believer in the Chocolate-and-Port match.

                  I'd go with Banyuls, first, followed with a ripe Zin with r.s.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: zin1953

                    Hm-m, "ripe Zin... " The Edmeades Alden Ranch comes prominently to mind. I've never had it with chocolate, but will give it a go. Seems that I still have some of the '99, which was a BIG one, with more RS, than most.