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Wine and Chocolate


Hank
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I am involved in doing a choclate and wine tasting for our wine society. I would love to learn from you what type of wines you like best to drink with choclate. So far the dozen or so people I have asked mentioned most often Banyul and Tawny Port. So please, your thoughts.

Hank

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Hi.

Vintage or Late Bottled Vintage Port should pair with chocolate slightly better than Tawny, IMHO. Any sweet red should be good I think.

It also depends what kind of chocolate(s) you're going to taste, of course.

Let us know :smile: .

Cheers,

Alberto

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There are a lot of people in California who swear by Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate. I would suggest writing to Fisher Vineyards for recommendations as it is a favorite of owner Fred Fisher.

I do not live in California or drink Cabernet with chocolate.

By the way, Fisher makes great Cabernet.

Young Vintage Character, Ruby and Single Quinta Oporto are my choice with chocolate. IMO Tawny and old vintage style Oporto don't work so well.

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I rather like Cabernet Sauvignon with chocolate (and I live in Michigan :biggrin:). If there's some left over from dinner (ha!) I might have a few sips along with some chocolate.

Port: agreed.

Just a thought -- how about Quady Essensia?

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I've hosted several wine/chocolate tastings and it can be surprising just how good heftier red wines go with chocolate. As always, it depends on the notes within the specific wine. Spicier Zinfandels can complement dark chocolate (around 70%) while I enjoy Cabernet with chocolates that are above 80%.

Port, Banyuls, and Late Harvest Reds always seem to work with darker chocolates as well.

I'm not sure there is any wine that goes with Milk Chocolate...

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I'm not sure there is any wine that goes with Milk Chocolate...

Good young Spatlese goes with milk chocolate. I know that sounds odd but it works in my mouth. Milk chocolate, epoisses, and young Spatlese. Sometimes these things are discovered by accident.

over it

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I would like to knowsome more information about the chocoolates: source of raw material, blends, percentage etc.

I would start the tating with a tasting of dif. percentage of dark from dif. sources.

If the choclates are flavoured - what with ?

adding to the prvious choices:

Amarone

Oaky hot climate Cab. - you can play with dif. oak [ toastiness ]

Cahors and dif. kinds of Malbec etc.....

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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I recently attended a wine dinner where the last pairing was a chocolate dessert with a BIG Australian Shiraz. I will look for my handouts and notes from that dinner and post back if I find the exact name of the wine. The pairing was stupefyingly good, and was a bit of an epiphany for me personally. It finally made me "get" the chocolate and red wine thing a bit more clearly.

The port suggestions and the Banyuls and Brachetto are all excellent choices as well. I'm currently pairing a glass of Brachetto d'Acqui with our Molten Chocolate Torte for dessert and it never fails to cause sensuous noises from the diners.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I would like to knowsome more information about the chocoolates: source of raw material, blends, percentage etc.

I would start the tating with a tasting of dif. percentage of dark from dif. sources.

If the choclates are flavoured - what with ?

adding to the prvious choices:

Amarone

Oaky hot climate Cab. - you can play with dif. oak [ toastiness ]

Cahors and dif. kinds of Malbec etc.....

Shawn and I are chocolate snobs - we limit our consumption (generally) to Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, and Michel Cluizel.

I would investigate both the Michel Cluizel and Valrhona for experimentations as both companies make versions of their chocolate from different sources and different <ahem> strengths. It helps to learn the difference in taste between a Dark Chocolate that is 60% Cocoa, 72% Cocoa, 85% Cocoa, and 99% Cocoa.

I also had this amazing box from Michel Cluizel that were Susan B. Anthony coin-sized disks of chocolate imprinted with their country of origin. It was very informative to do a tasting and realize just how spectacularly different a chocolate from eight or ten different countries.

Lastly, we keep a supply of Valrhona Noir Orange Gasronomie (56% Cacao [sic]) for Shawn to have with Cognac - he likes that pairing a lot and will often finish the evening with a small snifter and a chunk of Orange-infused Dark Chocolate.

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I think it's important to make the distinction between pairing wines with "chocolate," i.e. unwrapped bars or pieces of a chocolate, and pairing with "chocolate desserts"--where chocolate is used as an ingredient in a larger whole--because they're different animals. It's very difficult to pair a wine with a piece of chocolate--to create a synergistic match where neither the wine nor the chocolate is diminished or de-valued; it is less difficult, but still difficult, to pair a wine with a chocolate dessert. Many of the wines mentioned so far, like the brachetto, Maury, Banyuls, etc go very well with dark chocolate and red berry based desserts--and hence the more fruit forward berry-like dark chocolates, any chocolates based on or blended with Venezuelan cacao or chocolates which have a kind of acetic acid note to them, like especially Valrhona Manjari. I had a raspberry wine from Alba vineyards a few years ago, which Paul Grieco turned me on to on his dessert wine list at Gramercy Tavern, which was just sweet enough and killer with Venezuelan dark chocolate desserts and red fruit dark chocolate desserts.

In contrast, very few of these more commonly known wines for chocolate pairings actually work with the vast majority of chocolate--which are based on the more earthy, burnt, woodsy African bean style of chocolate (that's too simplistic, but meaning non-red-fruit for these purposes.) These wines also don't work that well with milk chocolate.

I've also never been lucky enough to have a chocolate dessert paired with a dry table wine, meaning non-sweet, that "worked" to the benefit of both the dessert and the wine, but that's another issue. I personally haven't had the big dry Cab or the big dry Shiraz and chocolate epiphany, but have an open mind. It's the degree of sweetness in a late harvest Cab or in any dessert wine which makes these matches with a chocolate dessert or any dessert possible--and even then you have to pull sweetness out of your dessert to have a hope of synergy. Like Mark I've also never liked a pairing of chocolate with sauternes or icewine, though I've seen both attempted. I don't recommend either.

With milk chocolate-based desserts, especially those milks with nutty or caramel overtones, and with chocolates not in that red-berry fruit nature, try pairing tawny ports, madeiras, things like Alambre moscatel de setubal or Lustau Pedro Ximenez "San Emilio" or anything in that dried-raisined character, like some vin santo or a Spanish wine new to me, something Aurelio Cabestrero selected and imported, called Silvano Garcia Dulce Monastrell. You just might be surprised to find that you can more easily pair wines with milk chocolate and milk chocolate/caramel/nut desserts than you can synergistically pair wines with dark chocolate based desserts.

And another nice wine style to pair with chocolate desserts are those Australian stickies, I know we've discussed all these dessert wines on eG before, so you might want to search for the old threads. I've had very good chocolate dessert pairing luck with things like the Seppelt DP63 Rutherglen Show Muscat and a few others--there's a nice toffee, caramel nature to these that can go very well with the caramel/nut nature in milk chocolate and dark chocolate desserts with the right nut and/or spice nature to them.

Good luck Hank.

Steve Klc

Pastry chef-Restaurant Consultant

Oyamel : Zaytinya : Cafe Atlantico : Jaleo

chef@pastryarts.com

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Thought I would post this as it seems pertinent. I've been meaning to try them; they sound delicious and got very good reviews on another cooking site.

Cabernet Truffles

Edited to say that the reviewed recipe also included 1 tsp. of vanilla.

Edited by Cusina (log)

What's wrong with peanut butter and mustard? What else is a guy supposed to do when we are out of jelly?

-Dad

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Though I place Banyuls at the top of the list for pairing with chocolate, I am also a huge fan of that frivolous Italian fizz, Brachetto. Banfi is currently taking the world by storm with its delicious Rosa Regale. If I had one complaint, its too damn expensive. I highly recommend Elio Peronne's Bigaro, a 50/50 blend of Moscato and Brachetto for noteably less $$$. Perrone is a small estate producer who specializes in frizzante wines. Frizzante wines are typically 5.5% alcohol by volume with only a 1/3 of the effervescence of a fully sparkling. Brachetto, like Moscato, is highly aromatic and when its produced frizzante the results are gulpably delicious. Its has a beautiful purple pink hue, a soft froth, outrageous aromatics, and a very light off-dry palate with flavors to match aromas. Though lightly sweet, Brachetto and Moscato both maintain intense natural acidity that combines with the fizz to keep the finish very clean. I just wish Perrone would bottle the Bigaro in a 375 ml so I would not look so conspicuous when chugging from the bottle.

Edited by wineserver (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks so much for all your wonderful replies and advice. Of 11 wines and spirits tasted with chocolates the favorite went to a 1976 Banyuls and 1995 Maury. The least favorite were a Cabernet and a Syrah. High on the list of favorites were a Brahcetto D'Acqui, a 1977 vintage port, a tawny port and to my surprise a 10 year old single malt scotch. Again, many thanks.

Hank

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  • 2 years later...

I have had some amazing Oregon Pinot Noir's with dark chcocolate (85%+ cocoa solids). Young AC Margaux's can also work wonders.

Cheers,

Stephen

Vancouver

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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