Chocolate and wine are two of life’s greatest indulgences. They’re also two of the most popular ingredients for a romantic Valentine’s Day. According to The Daily Meal, Americans purchase 58 million pounds of chocolate in the seven days leading up to February 14th! That’s a lot of chocolate. Whether you’re grabbing that cheesy heart-shaped box or whipping up some sexy chocolate covered strawberries, we want to help you double the decadence (and aphrodisiacs) with these chocolate and wine pairings.
Pairing Wine with Chocolate
Here are a few guidelines to help you create chocolate and wine pairings that set the mood.
Nobody wants anything shriveling up on Valentine’s Day, including your palate. So avoid pairing big tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec with bittersweet dark chocolate.
Wines that are slightly sweeter than the chocolate will usually be the most successful. If sweet wines aren’t your thing, focus on matching intensities instead. Match lighter chocolates with lighter-bodied wines and richer chocolates with more full-bodied wines.
Milk Chocolate for the Love Birds
So, you love milk chocolate—you hopeless romantic! This light, creamy chocolate calls for a glass of Ruby Port. With a bit of sweetness and flavors of blackberry, raspberry, cinnamon, and chocolate, Ruby port is the ideal match. Otherwise, opt for a Merlot layered with flavors of blackberries, plum, cocoa, and vanilla or a fruit forward Pinot Noir.
Getting Hot & Heavy with Dark Chocolate
If dark chocolate is more your style, you’re bold! And need a wine to match. A big jammy Zinfandel will do the trick. Try a California Zin from Lodi exploding with blueberry, cherry, and boysenberry flavors, plus a touch of spice and smoke. Ruby Port is a great wine pairing for dark chocolate, too. Or grab a dry Manzanilla Sherry with a crisp mouthfeel.
White Chocolate for That Sophisticated Romance
Is white chocolate really a chocolate? Either way, if this is your go-to, you’ll need an elegant wine to match. Try a sweet, late-harvest Riesling with flavors of apricot, honey, candied lemon, and jasmine. For a not so sweet option, pour a glass of aromatic Moscato.
Feed Me Some Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Let’s face it, chocolate covered strawberries on Valentine’s Day mean it’s about to get kinky. Might as well pop some bubbly while you’re at it. Reach for a Sec or Demi-Sec Rosé Champagne, which offers sweetness plus fruity flavors from Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. A Rosé Port with strawberry, raspberry, and caramel flavors makes another fantastic match.
Chocolate with Caramel and Nuts
For you nut lovers and those who need that extra caramel decadence, try a Tawny Port with cinnamon, hazelnut, clove, and caramel flavors. A glass of Madeira or nutty Sherry would be delectable, too.
Sip on Some Chocolate Wine
Alternatively, skip the chocolate and wine pairing all together and grab a chocolate wine. No, not a wine made from actual chocolate. A wine that packs a chocolaty punch in aromas and flavors. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Aussie Shiraz are a great place to start.
Looking to turn up the heat this Valentine’s Day or any day of the week ending in ‘y’? Learn how red wine fans the flames of love here.
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