Indulging in chocolate and wine together is an extraordinary delight if you know how to choose the right wine. If you’re skeptical, We’ve made it easy with our recommended pairings and wine list. There’s a reason these delicious treats have been loved for centuries and their more recent pairing just makes sense – let us explain why.
Centuries ago, the ancient natives of Central America found the cocoa bean hidden inside the tough exterior of the cocoa fruit. Harvesting the beans was rigorous work, but the cocoa drink they brewed from the beans was well worth the effort.
Their descendants, the Mayans, adored the drink and worshipped a cacao God. Every April, they offered a selection of beans in its honour.
When the Spanish arrived in South America they learned about cocoa and brought it back to Europe, where they had the clever idea of mixing in sugar. The new, sweet drink swept Europe (though it was still a somewhat bitter cocoa drink by modern standards). They also had the wonderful idea of pairing cocoa and wine.
Like cocoa, wine has also been around for centuries and had patron Gods in various cultures. Coincidentally, cocoa arrived just as wine was experiencing a golden age, set off by the production of a new quality glass and the invention of corkscrews. Wine and cocoa were traded back and forth with fervour during the next centuries and onwards.
Chocolate as we know was invented in 1847. Around this time, the marvels of refrigeration also gave us easier methods to make colder and sweeter wines—the kinds that pair well with sugary chocolate. It’s safe to say that there’s no better time than now to pair the two delicacies.
Thanks to research advancements, we also know more about why people are drawn to these treats. Both wine and chocolate contain antioxidants and flavonoids that boost our health and mood. It’s no wonder these have become symbols of love and romance.
Furthermore, through their fermentation process, both indulgences pick up tannins, the ingredient that makes wines dry and chocolate bitter. Wine and chocolate share many challenging tastes, so pairing them is a very delicate art.
Chocolate and Wine Pairings
To save you the trouble of deciding what to bring to your next chocolate and wine tasting experience, we have some suggestions below. If they don’t fit your tastes, give us a call—there are many more pairings we can suggest!
- White chocolate is one the sweetest ‘chocolate’. It is best paired with a ruby port, or an ice wine. We recommend Kopke Fine Ruby Port or Magnotta Vidal Icewine.
- Milk chocolate is also sweet and well-paired with a sherry or ice wine. We recommend a Riesling icewine like Henry of Pelham or Lustau Escuadrilla Rare Amontillado Sherry.
- Chocolate with nuts calls for a wine that also has a nutty flavour, so they can enhance each others’ taste. Try Alvear Cream Sherry or, if you want to indulge in some cognac, an excellent choice is Remy Martin 1783 Accord Royal Cognac.
- Dark chocolate is a sweet treat with bitter undertones. A great choice paired with a drier wine for a surprising taste experience. Consider Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Merlot or Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry champagne is another possible pairing with dark chocolate. Consider Moet & Chandon Imperial Champagne.
We would love to guide you through pairing these two divine treats. Bring your clients or colleagues on a Chocolate Tales Corp. experience and explore the rich history and flavours of chocolate and wine —a classic pair.