Exploring the perfect chocolate and wine pairings for Easter
Discover the perfect marriage between chocolate and wine for Easter!
This Easter, what better way to celebrate this special occasion than with chocolate and wine? Pairing chocolate and wine can create exquisite flavor harmonies that will delight your taste buds and add a touch of sophistication to your festivities. In this blog, we’ll explore the secrets of a perfect pairing between these two delicacies.
Chocolate and wine are both complex, rich, and indulgent treats that can complement each other beautifully. The key to successful chocolate and wine pairing is to find the right balance of sweetness, acidity, tannins, and flavour intensity.
Rule #1 Match the Intensity: The first rule of pairing chocolate and wine is to match the intensity of the chocolate with the intensity of the wine. If you have a rich, dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids, you’ll want a full-bodied red wine to stand up to the strong flavors. On the other hand, if you have a lighter, creamier milk chocolate, a lighter-bodied red or white wine will work better.
Look for Complementary Flavors: Chocolate has a wide range of flavor profiles, from fruity and floral to nutty and spicy. Look for wines that have complementary flavors to the chocolate you are pairing them with. For example, a dark chocolate with hints of orange and cinnamon would pair well with a wine that has similar citrus and spice notes.
Match sweetness levels: Try to pair chocolate and wine with similar levels of sweetness. For example, a dark chocolate with higher sugar content will pair well with a wine that has a higher residual sugar content. On the other hand, a sweeter milk chocolate may pair better with a wine that has some sweetness. If you have a sweet chocolate with a tannic wine, the sugar with emphasize the bitter tannins!
SOME PAIRING IDEAS
Dark chocolate & wine
Dark chocolate is an intense, bold flavor that pairs well with a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon (Cordet, Gaudin, Haut-Calens). The tannins in Cabernet Sauvignon help to balance the sweetness of the chocolate, while the fruity notes in the wine bring out the complex flavors in the chocolate. For the best results, choose a dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content, as this will provide a deep, rich chocolate flavor that can stand up to the boldness of the wine.The bitterness of the chocolate also helps to emphasize the round full fruit quality of the wines.
Syrah, Mourvedre, and Grenache, as the CDP Roque Colombe and our Lirac, are also excellent choices for pairing with dark chocolate.These wines have bold flavors, high tannins, and a touch of ripe fruit flavors that work well with the intensity of the dark chocolate.
Ultimately, the key is to choose a wine that can stand up to the boldness of the dark chocolate and create a balanced and enjoyable pairing.
White chocolate & wine
White chocolate has a creamy, buttery flavor with a touch of sweetness, so it pairs well with lighter-bodied wines that have a hint of sweetness and complement its delicate flavors.
Bubbles wines, such as Champagne or other Cremant, can be a good pairing with white chocolate because the effervescence of the wine can provide a refreshing contrast to the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate. The bubbles can also help cleanse the palate between bites of chocolate, making each bite more enjoyable. Try out our Caves de Vouvray – L’Insolent or Champagne brut – Duc de Chancay.
Sauternes wine can make for a delightful accompaniment to white chocolate due to its rich sweetness that complements the creamy sweetness of the chocolate. Furthermore, its acidity acts as a palate cleanser that cuts through the richness of the chocolate and provides a refreshing contrast. Sauternes is known to have complex flavors of honey, apricot, and citrus that beautifully enhance the taste of white chocolate and provide a one-of-a-kind pairing experience. If you’re interested in trying this option, we recommend our Chateau Haut Bergeron wine from Bordeaux.
The key is to choose a wine that has a delicate flavor profile and can complement the creamy and sweet flavors of white chocolate without overpowering it.
Milk chocolate & wine
Milk chocolate has a softer, creamier flavor than dark chocolate, making it a great match for a lighter red wine like Pinot Noir. The lighter body, low tannins and fruit-forward flavors of Pinot Noir complement the sweetness of milk chocolate, creating a delicate and delicious pairing. Bright fruits like cranberry, cherry, strawberry and blueberries play nicely with the fuller mouthfeel of the chocolate. The problem is if you eat too much, the sugar will make the low tannins still come forward.
Look for a Pinot Noir with low tannins and subtle fruit flavors, as this will allow the chocolate to be the star of the show.
A full bodied white like the Fontimple or CDP blanc would also pair well. A full-bodied white wine can be a good choice because it can complement the creaminess of milk chocolate without overpowering it. A dosage (demi-sec or sec) bubbles would relieve the creaminess of the milk chocolate while being able to match the sweetness.
Hazelnut / Almond chocolate & wine
When it comes to pairing wine with hazelnut or almond chocolate, you’ll want to consider a wine that can complement the nutty flavors without overpowering the chocolate.
The richness and creaminess of chocolate combined with the nutty flavors of hazelnuts or almonds can complement various wine styles :
Red wine: A medium to full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Syrah, can be a good pairing for hazelnut or almond chocolate. Look for wines with notes of dark fruit and a hint of spice, which can complement the nutty flavors in the chocolate
Dessert wine: Sweet dessert wines like a Sauternes can also be a fantastic pairing with hazelnut or almond chocolate, as its sweetness can balance out the richness of the chocolate and enhance the nutty flavors. Oftentimes sweet wines with have complimentary notes of almond or hazelnut themselves.
Caramel chocolate & wine
Caramel chocolates are rich and sweet, so you’ll want to pair them with a wine that can stand up to their intensity.
Red wine: A full-bodied red wine, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot, can be a great match for caramel chocolates. The tannins in the wine can help cut through the sweetness of the chocolate, while the wine’s fruit flavors can complement the caramel notes. But if the chocolates have a high sugar content, it may make the tannins more pronounced and the fruit in the wine disappear.
For caramel chocolates that do have a high sugar content, a dessert wine like our Sauternes will match perfectly and emphasize any caramelized fruit or toffee notes.
Always pair your wine to the food, not the other way around because your food impacts the wine, and not the wine to the food.
One last tip for the brave ones who have read this far! When tasting the chocolate and wine together, take small sips of wine and let it mingle with the chocolate in your mouth to fully experience the flavors. Enjoy the process of discovering your own favorite chocolate and wine pairing!