How To Pair Wines with Chocolate

March 22, 2019 | Food Lion
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Wines to Pair with Chocolate

You hear about pairing wine and cheese all the time. But wine and chocolate? That's definitely a delicious twist. As it turns out, wine and chocolate harmonize beautifully together. It helps to know which ones to sample together, though. That way, you can savor the complexity and flavor of both. Check out the top 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 chocolates and wines together and full-bodied wines with stronger chocolates.
  • Pair Notes: If the chocolate has filling or a topping, pair the notes of the wine with the type of filling. For example, try caramel with Port.

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. Other wines to pair with milk chocolate include:

  • Merlot
  • Pinot noir
  • Creamy sherry
  • Aged vintage Port
  • Riesling
  • Muscat
  • Champagne (perfect for chocolate-covered strawberries)
  • Shiraz (pairs gorgeously with chocolate cake)

Dark Chocolate

The higher cacao content in dark chocolate lends it a bold, slightly bitter flavor. Pair this toothsome choice with equally bold wines, including:

  • Zinfandel
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Banyuls, a fortified French wine

White Chocolate

"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:

  • Modcato d'Asti
  • Ice wine
  • Orange Muscat
  • Lambrusco
  • Sherry
  • Rose port