The pairing of wine and chocolate is the story of a challenge, carried out despite the theory indicating its certain failure. A challenge won, thanks to which today we can enjoy intense and unprecedented pleasures. Let's see why you can pair wine and chocolate.
Until a few years ago, no one combined these two unique products, and chocolate was practically only offered with spirits. It seemed impossible to marry the characteristics of the two. The protagonism of the chocolate (intense, persistent and bitter taste) seemed to cover and alter that of the wine without leaving room for dialogue. But that impossible marriage began to appear seductive to some, and among those in the sector, people began to experiment, engaging in an almost alchemical test, unleashing creativity and proposing new combinations.
Chocolate gives intense sensorial emotions , including olfactory, gustatory, consistency... As happens in wine, the resulting pleasure is made up of a myriad of different sensations: the nuances and persistence of the aromas, the sweetness, the bitterness and fatness are all very variable elements. Let's see the results of these experiments and the various possibilities of pairing with the nectar of the gods.
The various types of chocolate to know
dark chocolate (cocoa at least 43% - 45% in the case of extra dark -, cocoa butter at least 28%)
extra dark chocolate (cocoa exceeds 70%)
milk chocolate (cocoa between 25% and 30%, along with cocoa butter, sugar and milk)
bitter chocolate (cocoa mass + sugar-free cocoa butter)
white chocolate (does not contain cocoa, cocoa butter not exceeding 55%, together with milk, sugar and vanilla)
gianduia chocolate (cocoa 32%, ground hazelnuts: 2'-40 g per 100 g)
5 practical tips for pairing wine and chocolate
1. TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE LEAVING
Choose a wine that is up to par and can cope with the complexity of chocolate. If possible, choose quality products on both sides.
2. HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT WINE TO PAIRING WITH CHOCOLATE
The secret of the pairing is based on the principle that structure, aroma and above all sweetness must be equal between chocolate and wine otherwise the taste of the latter is lost.
It should be kept in mind that the chocolate ends with a bitterish tendency.
Keep an eye on the percentage of cocoa: the higher it is, the more there will be a need for alcoholic , structured wines, with a complex and long aromatic charge , soft and without a bitter aftertaste .
And then, a touch of color: the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine.
3. OUR TIPS FOR MATCHING CHOCOLATE
The types of wine that best lend themselves to the challenge are:
🍷 passito wines;
🍷 liqueur or fortified wines;
🍷 flavored wines.
- Read also: three principles for pairing food and wine
4. SOME PRACTICAL TIPS FOR PAIRING CHOCOLATE
White chocolate : Colli Euganei Moscato Fior d'arancio Passito, Erbaluce di Caluso Passito, Alto Adige Moscato Giallo, Moscato di Trani Dolce Naturale, Recioto di Soave, Zibibbo.
Milk chocolate : Malvasia delle Lipari Passito, Vin Santo del Chianti, Valle d'Aosta Chambave Moscato Passito, Aleatico di Gradoli, Malvasia di Bosa Passito, Marsala Superiore Rubino, Passito di Pantelleria.
Surfin dark chocolate : Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito.
Extra bitter dark chocolate : Vin Santo di Montepulciano.
Very bitter dark chocolate : Marsala Superiore Riserva, Porto, Barolo Chinato, Recioto della Valpolicella.
5. WHAT TO PAIRING WITH CHOCOLATE SWEETS?
The soft chocolate desserts (cocoa crème brulèe, chocolate pudding, gianduia tile...) can find excellent combinations with a Pantelleria Moscato Liquoroso or a Malvasia.
For Sacher and other full-flavoured dark chocolate desserts: Passito di Pantelleria, Marsala Superiore, Banyuls, Porto Tawny, Vino Santo Trentino...
The chestnut flour bags with pears and chocolate find a good balance with Recioto della Valpolicella or Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito.
Serve an Aleatico with a brownie .
Among the various possibilities, Moscato and Recioto di Soave go well with white chocolate -based desserts.
The wine-chocolate pairing is a perfect example of how a pairing that can be difficult even for experts is instead making its way, because taste changes and the frontiers (of creativity and taste buds) are always looking for new challenges .