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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chocolate and Wine Pairing

by Bob Schrader

Chocolate and wine pairing is often seen as difficult and certainly some wines don't go well with any type of chocolate. But when done correctly, wine and chocolate pairing can be a very rewarding experience. Of course, taste is a very subjective thing but if you don't know where to start here are a few guidelines to great chocolate and wine pairings.

One of the most common mistakes people make when pairing wine and chocolate is that they pick a wine which is too dry. It is generally a good idea to choose a wine which is at least as sweet (if not sweeter) than the chocolate you are serving it with.

When pairing wine and chocolate, you should also keep in mind that light, creamy flavored chocolates tend to pair best with light bodied wines. For strong flavored chocolates (like Gourmet Dark Chocolates or Gourmet Chocolate Truffles), you should choose a full bodied wine. To make wine and chocolate pairing easier, try referring to the tables below.
Red Wines and Chocolate Pairings
Cabernet Franc / Creamy Milk Chocolate
Cabernet Sauvignon / Dark Chocolate
Chianti / No Suggestion
Merlot / Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate
Pinot Noir / Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate
Sangiovese / Dark Chocolate
Zinfandel / Dark Chocolate

As you can see, red wines often match well with dark chocolates but there are a couple of exceptions. Cabernet Franc with an extra creamy milk chocolate is a great wine and chocolate pairing.
White Wines and Chocolate Pairings
Chardonnay / French Vanilla Chocolate
Riesling / Milk Chocolate
Sauvignon Blanc / Milk Chocolate

White wines are somewhat tough to pair with chocolates. While white wines have a light body which goes very well with milk chocolates, most are too dry to be served with chocolate. But there are some truly amazing combinations as well (like Chardonnay paired with French Vanilla.).
Dessert Wines and Chocolate Pairings
Champagne & Sparkling Wine / Almost Any Chocolate
Port / Dark Chocolate
Sherry / Milk or White Chocolate

Dessert wines don't really adhere to any "rules" about wine and chocolate pairings. Champagnes seem to go well with almost any type of chocolate, while Port and Sherry are on opposite ends of the chocolate spectrum.

Wine and chocolate pairings are interesting if nothing else. Many people swear by this unusual combination while others insist that it "can not be done". The only way to know for sure is to try it for yourself.

Gourmet dark chocolate often takes a back seat the wide-spread popularity of gourmet milk chocolate but don't be fooled. Gourmet dark chocolate is every bit a treat to the senses as any other gourmet chocolate treat.

Gourmet dark chocolate makes a good gourmet chocolate gift idea for those who are health conscious. Gourmet dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more) has been proven in studies to actually be good for you! Gourmet dark chocolate has several essential nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium. It even contains the vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E. So, you can actually help protect your body against heart disease and high blood pressure by simply enjoying some gourmet dark chocolate.

The best part is that gourmet dark chocolate is a lot tastier than vitamin pills and nutrition drinks. Gourmet dark chocolate also contains cancer-fighting antioxidants and has even been compared to wine (which have been known for years to contain high levels of antioxidants).

Gourmet dark chocolate is delicious and good for you. You can't go wrong! So, you can safely use gourmet dark chocolate as a gourmet chocolate gift idea to just about anyone. You can rest assured that you have not only given them a wonderfully delicious gourmet chocolate gift but also a gift that is good for them.

The best gourmet chocolate truffles are rich with a silky smooth palate. They also come in many different varieties. You can get gourmet chocolate truffles made from dark chocolate or milk chocolate. Dark chocolate truffles are the most popular though. The bitterness of dark chocolate balances very well with the sweetness of truffles.

Try them all, experiment. After all it’s Chocolate and Wine! Enjoy.

Bob (Chocolatier)
BajaChocolateLovers (bajachocolatelovers.com)
San Felipe, Baja, Mexico
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