Wine & Chocolate Pairing

Wines to Go Buy This Week: Three Wines to Serve on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is right around the corner which means lovers across the globe will be seeking out the right wine to romance their dates with for the evening. With this in mind, I bring you the IntoWine guide to Valentine's Day wine:

First let's handle the issue of chocolate. Despite popular opinion, wine and chocolate are actually quite difficult to pair as either the sweetness of the chocolate overwhelms the wine or, in the case of sweet wines like Port or dessert wine, the sweetness of the wine overwhelms the chocolate. So what do you serve? I find champagne to be the ideal wine pairing for chocolate as it offers a distinct contrast to the sweet chocolate in both taste and texture. Plus the bubbles can only serve to enhance your Valentine's Day mood. My recommendation: Try the Taittinger "La Francaise" Brut Champagne. An authentic, quality champagne but, at approx $35,  not so expensive you'll break the bank either. 

So what if you aren't seeking a wine to pair with chocolate and instead just want the right wine to sip by the fire while you romance your date? I have two suggestions for you:  

Best Wine to Pair with Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate desserts are the pinnacle of gustatory decadence, but not every wine can stand up to their richness.  We asked our panel of experts what they’d recommend to sip alongside chocolate d

Port and Chocolate Pairing Bliss

Holiday season lurks on the horizon, so what better time to dig into pairing chocolate with Port? Both evoke images of light snow falling, family get-togethers, and a slow warmth that slides down your throat, pools into your toes, and meanders back up again to give you a heady delight. To best equip you to ooze into that proverbial puddle in the yummiest way possible, here is some sage advice from Anton Hicks, my new best friend and Managing Partner of Nectar Wine Lounge, a gem of a spot in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Valentine's Day Wine: What Wine Pairs With Chocolate?

Valentine's Day conjures up images of wine, roses, and chocolates. Yet every year young and old lovers alike are disappointed when they try to pair a Valentine's Day wine with chocolate. Either the chocolate overcomes the wine or the wine overcomes the chocolate. In the spirit of the holiday, IntoWine.com asked a panel of wine experts their thoughts on what romantic wine pairs well with Valentine's Day chocolate:

The perfect bottle for such a sweet occasion is Louis Guntrum's Scheurebe. Not only is it a very good white wine but it comes in the quintessentially perfect Valentine presentation of a bright red bottle! The Scheurebe grape is similar in character to Riesling but perhaps more food friendly. It is the right price at $16.99 to gift along with a lovely box of chocolates [my favorite valentine's chocolate purveyor being www.cocoabella.com]. Buy Louis Guntrum WinesSo, not only does this wine go well with a lovely dinner but it has enough richness but a dry enough finish to pair well with chocolate! This bottle should be on every table of every restaurant on Valentine's day. It brightens up the room and puts a warm smile on every face that sees it. - Bartholomew Broadbent, CEO, Broadbent Selections, San Francisco.

Chocolate: A Dessert Wine’s Best Friend

 

“I’ll try the Madeira” I said to the sommelier. After retrieving a new bottle from the back of the wine bar, she poured a glass of the deep red wine and set it down. As I made a motion to begin my first sip, I heard: “wait a second; I have something for you to try.” A small dish was placed in front of me, filled with brownish-black disks. “Its chocolate,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “Oh, of course,” I responded, not totally understanding the pair of wine and plain pieces of chocolate. Then, as I tasted the bitterness of the chocolate combined with the smooth sweetness of the Madeira, I began to appreciate the origin of the slight smirk flashed by the sommelier. What a perfect match.

Banyuls: A Little French Love Letter to Chocolate

It is a warm night in the month of May. Everything that has come out of the kitchen to your table seems to be shouting at the top of its lungs that it is spring. The baby lettuces with strawberries and marcona almonds, the fava bean raviolis, the hamachi skewers with avocado and pomelo. The gruner veltliner you ordered has paired up famously with these items, and the bottle of frappato that succeeded it has also proven itself an amiable companion to both the pork tenderloin with asparagus and pea tendrils with gnocchi and romesco, and the pan- roasted halibut with arancini in a green garlic sauce.

Wine and Chocolate

Wine and chocolate seems like the perfect combination—two beautiful concepts wedded to create gustatory bliss. And it can be that way. The right chocolate paired with the perfect wine can create a near-orgasmic taste experience. But the wrong wine opposite a too-sweet chocolate creates nothing but horror. A bad pairing can turn an otherwise fabulous dessert to tree bark and a rare vintage to battery acid.

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