Wine pairing and tasting with chocolate
Pairing Chocolate can be both fun and educational. Whatever your pairing, knowing interesting tidbits of information about it will enhance your tasting experience. The more you know, the more likely you may be to experiment and try new combinations.
The biggest part of pairing is to have fun, share with friends and family or give it a try on your own. Some will work and well let’s face it, some may not. But on the bright side, you learn what works and what doesn’t. There are a couple of ways to do a pairing, complimented flavours and sweetness and contrasting. It all varies with the different flavour profiles of each item you are pairing, remember everyones palate is different so no one tasting is the same for each.
Milk chocolate + white / light wines • Dark chocolate + red or more robust wines. • White chocolate (you be the judge)
Complimentary flavours and sweetness: Try a milk chocolate with a white wine or perhaps a white chocolate. The creaminess and sweeter taste can compliment a white wine but it will depend on the kind of white wine and it’s flavour profile. The beautiful thing about white wines is they tend to be crisp, refreshing and often fruit or floral forward. Chardonnay, Viognier, Savignon Blanc are good ones to start with as the flavour varies.
With red wine, complimentary flavours can be as simple as a 55% dark chocolate which is a good starting point as the bitterness isn’t as prevalent as it would be in a higher percentage. An 80 or 90% dark chocolate is a little to bitter as it would make the tannins really stand out and give you a very dry mouth feel. Depending on how adventurous you want to get and how much bitterness you like, it never hurts to try it. A great example of a pairing would be a Merlot or a Shiraz with our Peppa pocket bar. The tannins of a red wine give you that slightly dry feeling in the back of your tongue but the cracked pepper and slight bitterness of the dark chocolate really mellows out the tannins and creates a new taste experience by making the flavour of the wine almost smoother and richer. Highly recommend trying it.
Contrasting flavours: This is our favourite, as it really starts to get interesting the more combinations you play with. A crisp white chardonnay and an orange infused dark chocolate like our Oranji pocket bar for example. Sweeter wine but in contrast to the slightly bitter dark chocolate it works because of the citrus notes of the Orange & slight bitterness of the goji berries.
A light red and a milk chocolate is another contrasting combination worth a try. A point of interest to take into consideration however is how the wine is produced, was it aged in oak or stainless steel? Why does it matter? flavor profile.
As you have no doubt figured out, how wines are made in conjunction to the type of chocolate you taste with can create altogether new combinations. It’s all about flavour and what influences it has on you palate. Keep reading to find out more about wine, how to do a chocolate tasting, interesting facts & tips and F.A.Q. Read our blog for interesting tid bits of information direct from the chocolatier. Or check out the pairing guide for each of our pocket bars.
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