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Wine With Chocolate


Kerry Beal
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I was contacted a couple of weeks ago to provide a chocolate techniques class for a wedding shower. The bride to be is a serious chocophile and has expressed an interest in learning techniques for working with chocolate.

Her sister figured she would get a bunch of her friends together, have me teach them a class in the evening, then they would head off to dance the night away.

The sister sent me an e-mail the other day to say she should would be in touch closer to the event to find out what sort of wines they should serve in the evening with the chocolate.

Well, I eat most of my chocolate with a nice cuppa tea, so I'm not really the right one to answer her question. I know that a lot of liqueurs match well with chocolate, but what I really need is some advice on specific wines and beers that compliment chocolate.

I'd appreciate any help, and any links to other appropriate threads.

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Banyuls, is a nice somewhat unusual choice, as Forest said. Ports are more typical, although it's important to avoid ones that are too sickly sweet. I had a couple of wine flights with chocolate recently, I'll look up the wines that we tasted when I get home where my notes are. Nothing too dry, basically. General rule when pairing wine with dessert of any kind is that the dessert shouldn't be sweeter than the wine (because then the wine will taste sour). That said, a nice rich sherry could be interesting to try.

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Banyuls is a sweet-ish fortified wine from the Banyuls AC of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Predominantly Grenache, though Macabéo and Malvoisie can also be used.

For a non-sweet suggestion, if you can find some, Château Kefraya's Comte de M (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon; comes from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley) drinks very well with chocolate.

Others I know like Saumur and other Cabernet Franc-based wines but I'm personally not too crazy about the vareital.

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Ok, so now I've been reading up on Banyuls and realize that it sounds like something I would enjoy (I love the sweet ports and sherries). Any recommendations on which one - one of the LCBO's in Toronto carrries Gerard Bertrand Banyuls Rouge Grand Cru, which sounds intersting.

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The general rule I've always heard is that wine and chocolate are not a very good match because the sweetness in chocolate can make red wine taste overly tannic, but I'm wondering if that rule is going by the wayside now that there is such an abundance of high-quality, dark chocolates with some of the same flavor notes as wine (berry fruit, coffee, etc.).

I had an Artesa Cabernet the other day with a square of good dark chocolate and I thought they were great together.

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LCBO doesn't exactly have a huge choice does it? Then again, SAQ only lists 11 options and my Alberta go-to's list exactly zero.

I'm not familiar with Gerard Bertrand but production from La Tour Vieille and La Cave de L'Abbe Rous have been okay. The Bertrand seems affordable enough to give it a whirl before the big event.

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Ok, so now I've been reading up on Banyuls and realize that it sounds like something I would enjoy (I love the sweet ports and sherries).  Any recommendations on which one - one of the LCBO's in Toronto carrries Gerard Bertrand Banyuls Rouge Grand Cru, which sounds intersting.

I usually stock up on Domaine de la Casa Blanca, which I serve for dinners if I'm having a chocolate dessert. It's a good price and, in my opinion, really nice with the chocolate. I don't know how easy it is to find elsewhere, but I'll have a think to see if I can come up with any other Banyuls I've had and liked, too.

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I think the lacking question(s) so far is, what are you doing with the chocolate? What kind of chocolate(s) are you using? Are there other flavors involved and or textures; what are they?

considering I dont have answers to these questions, what about muscat, riesling, semillon and cabernet franc vareities?

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Kerry, I'd go with some nice California Pinot Noir, a Pinotage, Syrah, or Grenache for anything dark or bittersweet. A nice grassy Sauvignon Blanc will go well with a white chocolate with any kind of bright filling.

Iron Horse makes a Cuvee R which is a bit like a cremant and would be nice with white and maybe milk.

I'd pair sherry or aged sake with milk chocolate.

**I'm moonlighting in a wine bar and my chocolates are on the menu so I have a bit of recent experience here.

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I think the lacking question(s) so far is, what are you doing with the chocolate?  What kind of chocolate(s) are you using?  Are there other flavors involved and or textures; what are they?

considering I dont have answers to these questions, what about muscat, riesling, semillon and cabernet franc vareities?

Anthony,

The recipe I will most likely teach them will be my amaretto truffle center, I'll show them how to make truffles, use the center to fill molded chocolates, and likely pipe out some truffle mice with almond ears. But I will also take along a variety of chocolates for them to try, whatever I have around the house, so that could be caramel, fruit fillings, key lime pie filling in white chocolate, maybe even some plain tasting bars of each type of chocolate.

The milk chocolate I use is a very smooth caramelly, natural vanilla milk, the white also has vanilla with caramel tones. The bittersweet is quite bitter, not terribly acidic or fruity.

A muscat would probably work nicely, I'm not sure a riesling wouldn't be a bit too acidic - I have a couple around the house, I could give them a try.

I'm interested in the whole red wine with chocolate thing, I'd love to find one that isn't too sweet yet compliments the chocolate.

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Banyuls is a sweet-ish fortified wine from the Banyuls AC of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Predominantly Grenache, though Macabéo and Malvoisie can also be used.

For a non-sweet suggestion, if you can find some, Château Kefraya's Comte de M (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon; comes from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley) drinks very well with chocolate.

Others I know like Saumur and other Cabernet Franc-based wines but I'm personally not too crazy about the vareital.

The Chateau Kefraya Comte de M sounds wonderful, try as I might I can't seem to find anywhere in Ontario where I can get it. Perhaps I can pick up a bottle in Chicago while I'm there (for me of course). Now to figure out where I can get it in Chicago. My luggage is going to clink and gurgle as I come through customs.

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oh speaking of beer, if its allowable, smoked bock/porter blends well with a bittersweet chocolate and I love hefeweizen with white chocolate, especially if you add a little citrus to it.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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Kerry, I'd go with some nice California Pinot Noir, a Pinotage, Syrah, or Grenache for anything dark or bittersweet.  A nice grassy Sauvignon Blanc will go well with a white chocolate with any kind of bright filling.

Iron Horse makes a Cuvee R which is a bit like a cremant and would be nice with white and maybe milk.

I'd pair sherry or aged sake with milk chocolate.

**I'm moonlighting in a wine bar and my chocolates are on the menu so I have a bit of recent experience here.

This is great information. I may have to do some serious drinking in the next little while to test these combinations.

What I need to do it hit an LCBO that has a tasting bar with a pocketful of chocolate, sip and chew my way through the samples then pour myself into a cab. (I'm not much of a drinker these days). I'd better remember to take tasting notes.

Anyone want to help?

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One of my customers has had several Tuscan Suppers and likes to pair my chocolates with Torcolato which she claims is, “To die for!”

I haven’t been able to find this in Oregon but an eager to try it and/or hear from others who know of it.

In Recchiuti’s book, he also recommends the fortified wines like port and banyuls.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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oh speaking of beer, if its allowable, smoked bock/porter blends well with a bittersweet chocolate and I love hefeweizen with white chocolate, especially if you add a little citrus to it.

Can you recommend any specific brands? I know SFA about beer.

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well with amaretto I think of sangiovese, but then again I could be biased.

Tell me more.

I dont know, something about amaretto macaroons, an espresso chocolate dessert and a full bodied sangiovese just makes me a happy happy person.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

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One of my customers has had several Tuscan Suppers and likes to pair my chocolates with Torcolato which she claims is, “To die for!”

I haven’t been able to find this in Oregon but an eager to try it and/or hear from others who know of it.

In Recchiuti’s book, he also recommends the fortified wines like port and banyuls.

We better look for this one in Chicago too - spice stores, restaurant suppliers, chocolate stores, Senegalese restaurants AND LIQUOR STORES

Looking it up, Torcolato is a botryis wine, so that might mean that sauternes would go well with chocolate - or I suppose ice wine as well, since it gets the same effect as the noble rot by freezing the grapes. I wonder how the red Cab Franc ice wine would taste with a bittersweet chocolate.

Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Kerry, this is a little bit of a diversion from your request, but the Dubys use wine fairly often in their chocolates and have a few flavour combinations on their website that might prove inspiring: DC Duby. Go to "estate" and "icewine" on the bottom menu.

Port and Banyuls, already mentioned, are the two that I see most often recommended with chocolate. Icewine and muscat could work with white chocolate, I think.

Cheers,

Anne

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Kerry, this is a little bit of a diversion from your request, but the Dubys use wine fairly often in their chocolates and have a few flavour combinations on their website that might prove inspiring: DC Duby.  Go to "estate" and "icewine" on the bottom menu.

Port and Banyuls, already mentioned, are the two that I see most often recommended with chocolate. Icewine and muscat could work with white chocolate, I think.

Great suggestion - I have a copy of their book, I'll haul it out when I get home from work and have a look too. Thanks for the idea.

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