First of all, this "research" certainly was great fun, however thanks to this blog, I gained about 4 to 5 pounds do to all the sampling of different chocolates and wines. Very joyful task, I have to admit :)
But enough of that, let me dive into chocolate and red wine. Very important to know is that not every kind of chocolate goes with every style of wine. So when you hear somebody talking about a chocolate and wine pairing, don't think of immediate satisfaction, as the wrong chocolate will make your wine taste awful! So what do I need to know?
The most important factor is the actual % of cocoa in it as this determines the sweetness of the chocolate in front of you. As a general rule of thumb, remember to always have a sweeter wine than your chocolate in front of you!
For your ripe, young and dry red wines pair a nice chocolate bar that has at least 70-85% or more in pure cocoa content and you will love every sip of your red wine and bite of your chocolate so much more. I used Lindt chocolate bars but there are plenty of other good producers out there. For chocolate desserts, Tawny ports, sweet roses, sauternes and late harvest Rieslings are all able to make a great match with your chocolate dessert.
As example, pair a nice tawny port with your chocolate dessert when the dessert has a citrus, nutty or spice component to it but remain mindful about the sweetness of the dessert. Tawny ports from Australia are generally speaking sweeter in comparison with the traditional ports from Portugal but either version don’t’ do well if the dessert is too sweet! If you peaches or pears part of your chocolate dessert, try a nice sauternes or a beerenauslese Riesling instead.
A few other pairing examples and what actually to avoid when combining wine with chocolate will be covered tomorrow. And stay away from those chocolate red wine blends!