Before whisky, beer or tea, the most popular drink to be paired with chocolate was wine. The different kinds of chocolate can be combined with the different grape varieties, harvest years and origins of red, white, rosé and even sweeter wines. The most decadent food and the most decadent drink come together for an unforgettable sensorial journey! Let’s see some pairing tips to enjoy both at their best.
Before the tasting begins, avoid smoking and don’t wear any perfume. Since most of the flavor is processed in the nose, this will help you begin the session in the best sensorial condition.
Don’t choose more than three or four different wines and chocolates. If you taste too many options at once, your palate will start flattening all the flavors and the tasting will be inaccurate.
A wine will need to ‘breathe’ for some time before you smell it so that its aromas and flavors can develop. Open each bottle an hour before your pairing session for this purpose. It is good practice to also take the chocolate bar out of the packaging some minutes before the tasting begins.
Depending on the characteristics of the wines and chocolates present, you can pair for similarity or contrast. For example, a 36% white caramel and salt chocolate would echo the toffee notes in a white, late harvest wine. On the other hand, berry notes in a Pinot Noir could be contrasted with a 77% cranberry.
When beginning your tasting, first taste and describe the chocolate, then the wine, and then both together. Next, start with the wine, then the chocolate, and then both together again. Finally, mix the two by waiting for the chocolate to melt on your tongue, and then swirling a little wine in your mouth. With this method, you can see what each one has to offer, individually and as part of a pair.