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October 14, 2021 | wine | Pacific Rim

Do Red Wine and Chocolate Go Together?

Do Red Wine and Chocolate Go Together?

The wine chocolate pairing can be a contentious issue. Some wine drinkers say that wine and chocolate do not mix, while others say the exact opposite. This debate arises because wine drinkers often fail to pair the right wine with the right type of chocolate. 

red wine and chocolate

Just like there are sweet, medium-dry, and dry wines, there are also different types of chocolates (milk, dark, white). Thus, before you can pair wine and chocolate, here are a few things you should know:

  1. Keep things simple.
  2. Both red and white wines can be paired with chocolates.
  3. In general, if the chocolate is sweet, the wine should be sweeter to wash down the palate.
  4. If you are just starting to learn about wine chocolate pairing, start by pairing light wines with lighter chocolates and then move forward.
  5. Some wine and chocolate have strong dry flavors. For example, if you select dark bittersweet chocolate and pair it with a strong dry wine like Port, the combination can flood the palate and numb the taste. In general, when pairing wine and chocolate, select a wine that is fruitier, softer, and less dry than the chocolate.
  6. If the chocolate is bitter, then select a sweet wine to balance the bitter taste of the cocoa.
  7. Mix and match. Select a lighter body wine if the chocolate is mild and less intense, like Cadbury's dairy milk. Similarly, if the chocolate has a strong aroma, is intense and bitter, go with a bottle of strong dry wine.
  8. Chocolate accessories. These days many chocolates contain raisins, almonds, nuts, caramel, or cream. For example, if you are eating fruity chocolate, you may want to pair it with a wine with mild fruity undertones like Piemonte, Brachetto d'Acqui, Banyuls, or sparkling wine. If the chocolate is packed with nuts, then try pairing it with Port, Madeira, or Oloroso Sherry.
  9. If you are eating white chocolate rich in cream and cocoa, you may want to select a light white or red wine to wash off the palate. Wines that pair with white chocolate include Sweet Rose, Sherry, Riesling, Orange Muscat, and Moscato d'Asti. Or you may want to select an ice wine.
  10. If you are consuming the regular brown chocolate rich in butter, cocoa, and cream, pair it with a mild fruity wine like Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling, or Muscat. Almost any dessert wine or champagne will pair well with regular chocolate.
  11. Dark chocolates tend to be bitter and have high tannin content, and are best paired with wines that also have a robust content of tannins like Merlot, Madeira, Port, Sherry, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Zinfandel. You may also want to try a sweet sparkling wine.

At the end of the day, it is not practical to have every type of wine to match the chocolate you eat. The more you read about wine chocolate pairing, the more confused you may get. If you want something simple that works, then go with the tried and tested wine options that cover a broad collection of chocolates, including Madeira, Port, Sherry, or Grenache Driven Banyuls. 

If you do not have these wines around the house, use any sparkling or bubbly wine, and you will not go wrong. For questions about wine and chocolate, Riesling wines, or virtually any other wine questions, call Pacific Rim and Company at 1.503.863.5454. They will have the answers because they are wine experts.


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