It’s true - you frequently hear about having wine and cheese together, but how about wine and chocolate pairings? That's definitely a delicious combination. As it turns out, wine and chocolate harmonize beautifully together. However, it helps to know which ones to sample together. That way, you can savor the complexity and flavor of both the wine and the chocolate.
Check out the top wine contenders to couple with milk, dark and white chocolate to create pairings for entertaining or for a savored moment treating yourself.
Wine and Chocolate Pairing Tips
Before you learn about the specific wines that go with each kind of chocolate, it helps to understand the basics behind the pairings.
- When in Doubt, Go Sweet: If you're unsure of your pairing, stick with a wine that's just a little sweeter than the chocolate.
- Match the Intensity: You don't have to go sweet if you pair light-bodied chocoalte and wines together and full-bodied wines with stronger chocolates.
- Pairing Notes: If the chocolate has a filling or a topping, pair the notes of the wine with the type of filling. For example, try caramel with port wine.
Now, let's take a closer look at which wines to pair with the three main varieties of chocolate, starting with milk chocolate!
Milk chocolate is known for its smooth, creamy flavor. That pairs well with lighter-bodied wines with silky tannins. Dessert wines like ruby Port often work beautifully, but your options don't end there. Our other recommendations for wine and chocolate pairings in this case include:
- Pinot Nior
- Creamy Sherry
- Aged Vintage Port
- Champagne (perfect for Chocolate-Covered Strawberries)
- Shiraz (pairs gorgeously with chocolate cake)
The higher cacao content in dark chocolate gives it a bold, slightly bitter flavor. Because of its flavor profile, try pairing this chocolate with equally bold wines, including:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Banyuls, a fortified French wine
Keep in mind, dark chocolate can vary in intensity, so when looking for that perfect wine and chocolate pairing, pay attention to the percentage of cacao on the label. The higher the percentage, the bolder the chocolatey flavor. And that means you’ll need a bolder wine to pair with it.
"Sweet, mellow, and buttery" is how you might describe the flavor of white chocolate. You could make a daring choice by pairing it with a fruit-forward, full-bodied Zinfandel, which contrasts with the flavor nicely. This confection also pairs particularly well with sweet wines, including:
- Moscato d'Asti
- Ice wine
- Orange Muscat
- Rose port
FUN FACT - did you know that white chocolate doesn’t contain any solid cocoa? Instead, it’s made with cocoa butter. That’s why this variety of chocolate tastes so different than its milk and dark counterparts.
Wine and Chocolate Pairing - Final Notes
Whether you’re getting ready for your next girls-night-in or some well-deserved “you time”, use these wine and chocolate pairing tips to help you find the perfect wine match to your favorite type of chocolate. Now, it’s time to head to your local Food Lion, pick up some chocolate and wine (at low prices) and enjoy. Cheers everyone!