This week we wanted to talk about wine and chocolate pairings. Because the arrival of Easter is a period that rhymes with chocolate, and therefore a good opportunity to give you good ideas of associations between these two foods that we love so much. Attention this article is addressed to the wine and food lovers!
Wine and chocolate, beautiful and tasty combination.
First of all, wine and chocolate is a pairing that works, and even works very well! A perfect harmony exists between the two, because we find notes of cocoa in some wines, which can vary from cocoa beans to dark chocolate and white chocolate. If you like the combination of food, you must absolutely test this pairing with a wine that has this kind of aroma. Generally, this type of flavor is found in red wines that have been aged in barrels and/or in mature wines.
Yes to tannic matter but be careful!
Beware though, because wine and chocolate work together, but it will depend on the type of wine… and the type of chocolate chosen! You have to pay attention to the percentage of cocoa in the chocolate. And you have to be careful about the tannin content of the wine, because tannins… are also present in chocolate! The higher the percentage of cocoa, the more you will feel them. So be careful not to saturate your palate, which could bring out a bitterness that is too pronounced and therefore unpleasant.
You have to make sure that the wine or the chocolate can stand up to the comparison on both sides. They must be able to balance each other. Cocoa notes are often found in tannic wines.
You can turn to old red wines. A card that can be interesting to play, because the tannins are present but polished by time, therefore more supple. Moreover, some of these wines can have mentholated notes that could go very well with chocolate!
Balance cocoa with fruit or sugar
Another important principle to remember is that you can soften the bitterness of cocoa with fruit or sugar.
The sweet wine list, natural sweet wines or even semi-dry sparkling wines work very well. You have a wide choice of styles to choose from!
The intensity of the fruits will play a role of balance to temper the bitter side. The sugar will give a sort of “boost” to the whole. There are also chocolates such as “Sauternes grapes” made of dried grapes, macerated in Sauternes and coated with chocolate.
Wine and chocolate boxes and workshops
There are many offers that link the world of wine to the world of chocolate. Some chefs have created boxes in which they have selected the best wines vintages to associate with different varieties of chocolate.
Others offer tasting workshops around different chocolates, from white chocolate to the purest cocoa. Then there is an association between different wines, so that everyone can find their happiness. And just like there are great vintages in wine, there are also great vintages for cocoa. There is only one step from oenology to “chocology“! Common universes in terms of selection and excellence, but not only! The notion of terroir also takes on its full meaning.
Wine and chocolate, our favorite pairings!
To treat yourself, the Aveine team suggests three styles of wine for perfect pairings with chocolate!
With red wines: Côtes de Castillon or Pomerol
If you have to be wary of tannins, the wines of the Côtes de Castillon appellations, like the wines of Pomerol, have the particularity of giving delicious and tasty chocolate notes!
For the Côtes de Castillon you will find this after they age, and the association with a vintage with juicy black fruits will be a success (2009 or 2010 for example).
For Pomerol, which generally has a tannic structure that is present but finer, you can start with more recent vintages. Some estates are particularly suitable for this pairing at a young age (for example, Château Petit Village).
With fortified wines: Banyuls or Porto
A Porto with chocolate is a classic pairing that works wonderfully well! The best value for money and pleasure would be to start with a LBV (Late Bottled Vintage) with tasty notes of red and black fruits, which will add even more flavors to the chocolate. If you like the nutty side with evolved notes, go for an “indication of age” (10 or even better, 20).
What works in Portugal works just as well in France with Banyuls, another natural sweet wine located in the south.
With sweet wines: Sauternes and Tokaji
We saw that chocolates with Sauternes existed, but even without that the agreement works very well, adding fruit and freshness to the whole. A pairing that always surprises in a good way! Do not hesitate to start with an old vintage, because with time the aromatic flavors of these wines evolve towards roasted notes.
And if you want to travel a little, try the sweet wines of Hungary: Tokaji Aszu! Idea for pairing with white chocolate: a Tokaji Aszu 5 Puttonyos from 2013.
Many other combinations exist with, as you can see, a multitude of wine styles. So don’t hesitate to suggest yours! The ones you liked or if you tried the ones we suggested.
Have a good tasting!