If there is one industry in the world that carries with it as much tradition and history, all of which is centred around great taste, then it must surely be the chocolate industry. For centuries people have been enjoying wonderful chocolates, many of which are carefully crafted and made with the same love and care as the greatest Italian wines.
As such, it is probably no surprise that many people consider a combination of the two to be the stuff that dreams are made of, and you will find many a connoisseur combining the many pleasures of chocolate with the wonders of wine to create a cacophony of flavour that is simply irresistible to the taste and cannot be experienced anywhere else in the world.
Of course, as with all food and wine combinations, the way to get the absolute most out of the combination is to know which chocolates to each with which variations of wine. Much like wine, there are so many different chocolates in the world that are imbued with so many different qualities, so making the right choices with both is important for your overall enjoyment.
The key is to ensure that you select a wine that won’t be overpowered by the chocolate, which will generally be rather rich in flavour and can quickly ruin the taste of lighter wines. Here we will take a look at some of the wines that mix well with various types of chocolate.
Many people see a sparkling white wine as a refresher or something to be enjoyed during a celebration and it fits the bill for both of these absolutely perfectly. However, sparkling whites are also great for combining with chocolate, particularly chocolates that are a little lighter themselves.
Try combining the wine with pure milk chocolate or products made using a regular milk chocolate. There are lots of fun little things that you can try so it is most definitely worth exploring to see what you can get the most out of.
What you should avoid is pairing a sparkling white with a dark chocolate, which will generally have a much deeper flavour that can quickly overpower the sparkling white, or any chocolate that contains fruit. This is because the combination of fruit and chocolate is intended to create a rich texture, which is one that can easily overpower all but the most complex of wines.
Anybody who enjoys a good bottle of Chianti will be able to tell you that they are wines of great depth and personality, which means that they match up well with chocolates that embody the same qualities.
As such, this most famous of red wines should never be mixed with milk or white chocolate, as you will find that the flavour of the chocolate is quickly lost as the Chianti takes over your palette and absorbs you into its many flavours. In the majority of cases this is no bad thing, but if you are looking to enjoy a chocolate and wine pairing you will want to enjoy both at the same time, rather than having one completely overpower the other.
As such, Chianti goes particularly well with dark chocolates or chocolates that have been mixed with a variety of fruits, as both have a deeper and more complex texture that enables them to remain on the palette after they have been consumed, rather than being washed away by the Chianti. This way you can create a true combination of flavours that is the essence of chocolate and wine pairings, enabling you to enjoy both confections for what they are and for how they combine into one amazing taste.
While both of the above wines go wonderfully well with chocolate as a standalone confection, it is important to remember that chocolate is also a main ingredient in many dessert dishes, where it can be refined to offer an even richer taste than it would on its own, particularly when you take into account the various ingredients that it can be combined with.
This can lead to the dessert very easily overpowering a standard table wine, regardless of how complex it may be when taken with other dishes.
As such, you should seek out a wine that has been specially created so that it can be enjoyed alongside particularly rich desserts and there are few wines that match up to this task quite like a good Ruby Port.
While this time of wine is not traditionally an Italian variation, that doesn’t mean that its many qualities should be completely ignored when looking for a wine that will embody all of the characteristics needed to be enjoyed with a good chocolate dessert. A good Ruby Port will have a sweetness all of its own that is able to compete with the sweetness of the dessert while also ensuring that it never quite gets overpowered. Furthermore, you also won’t have to worry about the wine overpowering the dessert either, allowing for an excellent combination of flavours that makes for the perfect ending to a fine meal.
As with much of the advice you will ever receive about wine, the one thing that you should always make sure to take into account is your own personal tastes. What might be good for somebody else might not work for you and vice versa, so while the combinations that have been mentioned above represent a good start, it is always a good idea to experiment with your own personal favourites to see what you can find.
They key to both a good chocolate and a good wine is to be able to enjoy them the way that you wish to enjoy them. There are many more combinations that are worth trying out, all you need to do is to consider the characteristics of both the wine and the chocolate and then think about which of the other would most ably complement your choices. With a little bit of experimentation you may end up finding that you make a band new discovery that nobody else has ever tried before.