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Pairing wine with chocolate.

emglow101 Sep 29, 2013 09:06 PM

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. Bill Hunt RE: emglow101 Sep 29, 2013 09:20 PM

    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. j
      jock RE: emglow101 Sep 30, 2013 06:49 AM

      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. maria lorraine RE: emglow101 Sep 30, 2013 11:08 AM

        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
          wineguy7 RE: maria lorraine Sep 30, 2013 02:10 PM

          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
            Bill Hunt RE: wineguy7 Oct 1, 2013 09:07 PM

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


          2. re: maria lorraine
            ChefJune RE: maria lorraine Oct 1, 2013 12:19 PM

            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. j
            JonDough RE: emglow101 Sep 30, 2013 12:53 PM

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

            1. penthouse pup RE: emglow101 Sep 30, 2013 02:43 PM

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

              1. t
                TombstoneShadow RE: emglow101 Sep 30, 2013 05:02 PM

                I'm okay with alot of these recs. That said, my favorite vino pairing with chocolate is muscat.

                1. z
                  zin1953 RE: emglow101 Oct 1, 2013 07:03 AM

                  Any number of people have matched wine(s) and chocolate(s) -- and yes, wines in addition to or instead of Port(o).

                  When it comes to table wines, Alexander Valley Vineyards has long suggested the pairing of their Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate, for example, and several wineries have recommending pairing their Zinfandels with chocolate.

                  Personally I generally avoid the pairing in terms of table wines. I think the matchup RARELY works, and causes both the wine and the chocolate to suffer.

                  I agree that a Malmsey or a Banyuls can work; I'm not a big fan of Porto & chocolate. My preference is coffee . . .

                  / / / / /

                  P.S. If you haven't had the chance, try TCHO chocolates . . .

                  1. Chinon00 RE: emglow101 Oct 1, 2013 04:33 PM

                    I've had success pairing hoppy beers w/ a variety of different %cocoa chocolates. The result of pairing the two is the beer hop profile is rendered as pure citrus. The fat of the chocolate flattens the bitterness of the beer revealing just the citrus character of the hops.

                    1. q
                      QuakerInBoston RE: emglow101 Oct 7, 2013 12:54 PM

                      Tawny port is about all I can do with chocolate.

                      1. s
                        sunshinetricia RE: emglow101 Nov 4, 2013 07:22 PM

                        I actually did an entire wine and chocolate tasting on my most recent Disney cruise. It was really interesting.

                        Here's a full review that I did of it: http://www.wineclubreviewsandratings....

                        Basically we tried a few different wines with different types of chocolates and a lot of it was personal preference. I usually like the traditional red wine and dark chocolate. But the champagne with white chocolate and caramel was really nice!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: sunshinetricia
                          zin1953 RE: sunshinetricia Nov 5, 2013 08:05 AM

                          Glad red wine and chocolate works for you . . . personal preference is what it's all about; there are no "right" or "wrong" answers.

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