After a long and stressful week, everyone deserves a chance for relaxation. For some, it can come in the form of a nice, fragrant bath along with calming music. It can be settling down with a tub of ice cream and watching a movie. It can also be reading a book while indulging in wine and chocolate.
For a more decadent experience, one should find the right pair of wine and chocolate that suit each other. Open those sweet hampers and look at what you’ve received. After sorting through it, you can use this as a guide in choosing what kinds of chocolate and wine go together.
Choose by Color
If you’re inexperienced in the various kinds of wine and chocolate, there is a general rule of thumb. Pair white wines with light chocolate, such as white chocolate and milk chocolate. Pair red wines with dark chocolate. That is a reliable way to ensure that your wine and chocolate complement each other.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Avoid using dry red wine, because it’s bitterness will clash with the dark chocolate’s flavor. Stick to red wines with residual sugar so that the slight sweetness offsets the high tannin levels.
Consider the Flavor
Wine and chocolate have a more nuanced flavour and are not restricted to sweetness and bitterness. Various factors affect a wine’s taste, such as the body, acidity, and tannin levels. A wine’s body can be thicker or thinner, depending on the amount of alcohol in the wine. The acidity of the wine varies depending on the type of grape that is used. Tannin levels are higher when the grape’s skin is left on during fermentation.
Chocolate, meanwhile, is mainly dependent on the amount of cacao used. More cacao means more bitter chocolate. Various fruits and additives can also influence a chocolate’s flavour. Considering these can help you in choosing which wine is appropriate for which chocolate. Also, one can’t go wrong in making sure that the wine is a tad sweeter compared to the chocolate. Doing so will ensure that the wine’s flavor won’t be overwhelmed by the chocolate’s flavour.
Pair by Weight
Another way to try is to put together wine and chocolate with similar weight. If you have light, creamy chocolate, it’s best eaten with light-bodied wine. The sweet, soft notes of the chocolate will be enhanced by the light wine and refresh your palate. Milk chocolate sits between white and dark chocolate, so it’s easier to pair it with a few varieties of red and white wine.
Fuller-bodied wines, meanwhile, are more suited for bitter chocolates. The higher tannin levels in red wine give it a pleasant acidity. When paired with the bitterness of the chocolate, it allows the wine’s fruit flavor a chance to shine. This pairing results in a well-weighted combination that is satisfyingly rich.
With these tips, one is sure to have a more fulfilling experience when spoiling themselves with wine and chocolate. Keep these in mind while choosing what to put together. After learning about the various flavour profiles of wine, it’s time for you to mix and match according to your tastes. After all, everyone’s preferences are different. Don’t be afraid to explore instead of adhering to the usual pairings. You can find a more satisfying combination for yourself in the end.