Chocolate & Wine

Food Pairings, Wines 18 January 2018 Published by Bea Coque

Many purists will flatly deny that there is an acceptable match for wine and chocolate. The intense sweetness of chocolate and its ability to decimate the taste buds make matching with a wine a sticky proposition, and the sweeter the chocolate, the harder this becomes. Although we have long been tricked into believing this is true, and with most menus featuring chocolate desserts, here are some recommendations that are capable of standing up to those powerful flavours:

Sweet Sparkling Wines

Asti Spumante, Italy or Rumours Moscato, Australia

Wines made from the Muscat/Moscato grape (e.g. Asti), tend to have the required aromatic intensity and sweetness to pair with chocolate desserts.

Fortified Wines

Elysium Black Muscat, California or Campbell’s Ruthglen Muscat, Australia.

These wines have the concentration, weight and sweetness to deal with all things chocolate.

Sweet Sherries

Triana Pedro Ximenez, Javier Hidalgo, Spain.

This treacle style sherry works wonders with chocolate, but don’t expect to be able to move from your table for a while after this taste bud explosion.

New World Dry Red Wines

Ironstone Old Vine Zinfandel, California or Esk Valley Merlot-Cabernet-Malbec, New Zealand.

When using chocolate in all things savoury the choice can be widened to powerful, dry red wines, such as a Zinfandel or a Merlot blend. A certain touch of bitterness, earthy qualities and the roasted notes of dry reds from a warm-climate, that pack a punch, match the characteristics of the chocolate itself.

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