We know what you are thinking, and no – this is not a post about the health benefits of wine and chocolate. Because let’s be honest, it’s all about moderation!
If you’ve been following our blog recently, you may have noticed that we’ve been delving into the art of wine tasting and wine pairing, with topics including How to Host a Wine Tasting and Wine & Cheese Pairing 101. Today, we’re going to talk about wine and chocolate!
To the dismay of foodies and sommeliers, the idea of pairing red wine and chocolate is a popular misconception that continues to gain traction. We hate to be the bearer of bad news to red wine lovers and choco-holics, but these two treats together, in fact, is not always a match made in heaven.
“Everybody loves the idea of pairing chocolate and wine, and with good reason,” Ray Isle of Food & Wine says, “But the flavors of chocolate and wine aren’t always that compatible. And the culprit is the chocolate.”
As Sarah Chappell of Serious Eats explains, the sweetness of chocolate when combined with a dry red wine will result in a bitter and sour aftertaste that is not as pleasant.
Like wine, chocolate is complex. In addition to being sweet, chocolate can also be bitter, acidic and sometimes fruity. The only wines that pair well with the intense flavors of chocolate are those that have equal intensity of sweetness and fruitiness.
The most important rule to remember is never to pair chocolate with a table red wine. There is only one exception to this rule, and that is if chocolate is coming in the form of a subtle ingredient in a sauce. A hint of chocolate in a steak sauce, for instance, goes great with a robust red. When it comes to desserts, however, always pair chocolate with a sweet dessert wine.