Your Guide to Chocolate & Wine Pairings
We all have our food and wine traditions for Christmas. For some it may be prime rib and a really beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon, or a spiral cut ham with Pinot Noir or roasted turkey with Rosé. In our family we have the standard homemade pumpkin, pecan and apple pies for dessert as well as cheesecake, but this year I really want to shake it up with something decadently chocolate.
Chocolate and wine pairings can be dicey. Getting the wrong percentage of cacao in the chocolate with the wrong wine and the pairing can cause severe palate distress! My idea for my Decadent Dessert Delight (maybe I still need a little work on the name) involved extensive research in order to figure out if it would work.
I chose a wide variety of chocolate including Ghirardelli, Vosges, Rausch and Lake Champlain. As with any wine/food pairing I conduct, I started with the lightest chocolate first and then went to the darkest for the finish. I did finishing the chocolate lineup with two bars I considered the dessert course of the meal.
Here's the rundown:
Rausch Amacado 60% chocolate bar - Gerard Bertrand Banyuls from France
Ghirardelli Twilight Delight - Beau Vigne Juliet Cabernet Sauvignon
Lake Champlain 80% cacao - Locations F, a French blend from Dave Phinney
Vosges 62% Dark Chocolate Mo’s Bacon - JC Cellars Smoke and Mirrors
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Toffee Interlude - Fred Peterson Home Ranch Muscat Blanc
Any White Chocolate - Kokomo Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc or Peterson Muscat Blanc
Vosges Cherry Rooibos - Meomi Pinot Noir
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Hazelnet - La Spinetta Barbera or Frangelico
Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree - El Enimigo Malbec
Any Dark Chocolate - Taylor Fladgate Ruby Porto or Jessup Zinfandel Port
Everyone’s palate is different and while my experience with the aforementioned pairings might be different than yours if you try this, it was really fun to see where it led me. It was fun to try all of the wines with all of the chocolates and then settle on a favorite for each wine and each chocolate.