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Sep 29, 2013 09:06 PM

Pairing wine with chocolate.

I'm wondering if any you have paired wine with chocolate.Not just having a port wine with some chocolate. I'm asking this because I'm finding out about this world of chocolate.Seems to be very complex, as much as wine Ever do this? ..Just asking.

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  1. For me, it depends on several factors:

    The chocolate
    Garnishes or compotes
    How I am feeling

    Here are some very general considerations:

    Demi-sec Champagne (dark chocolate, and pretty plain)
    Merlot (again dark, or semi-dark, with raspberries)
    Tawny Port (depends on the chocolate, and one's mood)



    1. I generally stick to water. For me chocolate kills amost all wines.

      I have only had one experience in 50 years where a pairing actually worked to the point that both were as good together as they would have been separately.

      The combination was a chocolate "amer" confection (cake-like). Amer being French for bitter. It was bittersweet but on the bitter side. It paired perfectly with a 15 year old Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

      Grenache being the main grape in CdP and the only one that works more-or-less with chocolate. Banyuls (made from grenache) is somewhat similar to Port and IMO works a lot better.

      Lately we seem to be over-focused on "wine Pairing" both in making bizarre combinations or with things that do not work. Asperagus and chocolate are a couple of things that are pretty much unpairable without a real stretch.

      People love chocolate for many of the same reasons they love wine - complexity, variety and the fact they are both so damn good. There are too many people trying to sell their wine (or their wine expertize) buy claiming that their wine pairs with chocolate when it really does not.

      Just one highly opinionated man's opinion.

      1. My favorite pairing is Malmsey Madeira, and my favorite brand is Henriques & Henriques. The flavors are stunning; the texture is voluptuous.

        Or, try a 100% Pedro Ximenez dessert sherry -- the Venerable by Domecq is a knockout,

        Those two recs are the very best I've ever had with chocolate, or artisan chocolates, and I admit to too much time doing field research.

        20-year-old tawny (or older) is also a good option.
        Or vintage or LBV port.

        It's rare red wine works with chocolate, and then the chocolate needs to be about 85% cacao, and the red wine complementary. Only on a handful of occasions has this worked for me.

        3 Replies
        1. re: maria lorraine

          Sometimes I will have Banyuls with chocolate.

          I've also liked Barolo Chinato with high proportion cacao chocolates.

          For lighter chocolates, I've paired Brachetto successfully.

          I've not had this, but I understand some wines from Maury pair well with chocolate, too.

          1. re: wineguy7

            Depending on the chocolate dish, that is a "classic pairing" for me too - the Banyuls.


          2. re: maria lorraine

            I agree with ml. Other than sweet wines, I don't care for any with chocolate. I also like Brachetto d'Acqui (a sparkling red from Piedmont) with dark chocolate when its combined with fruit. It's a wonderful pairing with my chocolate terrine.

            Although I don't like wine with chocolate, I like the truffles I've made with Merlot as an ingredient.

          3. Depends for me too, but I generally prefer coffee with my chocolate.

            1. Maury (from Roussillon) along with Banyuls, as noted above,work well.