What To Drink With Chocolate?

Discussion in 'Pairing Food and Wine' started by isa, Feb 21, 2002.

  1. isa

    isa

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    Sweet wines best for cocoa finale
    Steve Russell
    Toronto Star

    Chocolate and wine? Forget it! That's the advice of most wine books, but I think there's a wine to go with everything. It's all a matter of selection.

    The sweet, mouth-coating feel of chocolate overpowers and renders bitter most dry wines, especially those with tannin. Look for a sweet wine with soft tannins and high alcohol. Recioto della Valpolicella from Veneto is sweet enough to match dark chocolate (I was once served an After-Eight mint with Serego Aligheri Recioto that worked well together). But sweet reds like Recioto and Banyuls from southern France are not generally available. Port - Tawny or Late Bottled Vintage - cream Sherry, Maderia or cream-based liqueurs all work with chocolate.

    But chocolate differs in sweetness and texture, so follow these recommendations.

    Dark Chocolate

    Not as sweet as milk or white chocolate, dark chocolate is sometimes bitter enough to match with zesty red wines such as Zinfandel from California or Primitivo from Puglia. If the dessert contains acidic berries, stone fruits or citrus, drink a youthful red from a warm growing climate, such as Australian Shiraz or California Merlot. Since we live in Ontario, I'll select Southbrook Farms Framboise ($14.95, 375 mL), a fruit wine made from raspberries soaked in alcohol.

    Milk Chocolate

    Sweeter than dark chocolate and softer on the palate, milk chocolate requires a wine with sufficient sweetness (unless prepared with acidic ingredients) to harmonize with it. My choice would be a Late Bottled Vintage Port (Vintage Port is too expensive - that's like mixing Krug Champagne with orange juice) or more interesting - a 10-year-old Tawny Port. Try Warre's 10 Year Old Tawny Port($19.95, 500 mL) with chocolate mousse.

    White Chocolate

    The sweetest chocolate and perhaps the most difficult to match due to its high vanilla content, white chocolate desserts call out for cream-based liqueurs. The flavour of the liqueur depends on the preparation of the dessert but a good all-purpose marriage would be the newly listed Sangster's Olde Jamaica Rum Cream ($24.95) at 17 per cent alcohol, drizzled over a white chocolate soufflé.
     
  2. shimmer

    shimmer

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    In highschool, I had a Spanish professor we nicknamed Sra Flan. She had spent quite a bit of time in Spain working for the embassy, and on the way home would often have "chocolate y churros" (can you tell we heard this story a lot?) In her opinion, the best thing to have with chocolate is hot water. Cold water, milk, maybe even wine, don't clear the palate so that the chocolate tastes as wonderful as it did on the first bite, but hot water makes it seem like trying it all over again for the first time.

    Just a memory,
    ~~Shimmer~~
     
  3. mesquite27

    mesquite27

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    Now that you mention it I always finished off the bottle of wine at a nice rest. with the dessert. Specially if the dessert is some rich choc. thing. Both red and white dry wines do very well at refreshing your mouth for the next bite;)
     
  4. devotay

    devotay

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    Here's adifferent take on the issue.

    I discovered, about 4 years ago, that the specific combination of Valrhona Dark Chocolate and Piper Sonoma Brut produces the delightful and very clear flavor of strawberries.

    In addition, there are many big rich reds that are fabulous with chocolate. Isa is right about the tannins, but they are easy to avoid. Try Peachy Canyon Zinfandel, West side, (preferably '97) with the richest chocolate mousse you can find - marvelous.

    But as for the sweet accompaniments, gimme a vintage Porto any day.
     
  5. isa

    isa

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    Everything goes well with Champagne & sprakling wine! :lips:
     
  6. m brown

    m brown

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    with each of my desserts i pair a wine, port, whisky, cocktail or spirit suggestion to make life easy on the client. for example my key lime-passion fruit tart gets patron taquila or raspberry martini! wide selection of coffees and teas are always options!
    for the flourless chocolate cake with butterscotch bananas port, cognac and cabernet are listed.

    i think it helps people know what to pair if they have questions and allows a couple to split dessert and drink and enjoy them together.

    if you do juicing at your place you can pair foods and juices, ie: guittard american with beet/cabbage/ginger juice. or coconut pudding with carrot/ pineapple/ coconut juice.

    kooky.

    also great for sales!

    fun with your food
    :bounce:
     
  7. b.c. chef

    b.c. chef

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    Kanonkop Pinotage from South Africa is absolutely amazing!!!!
     
  8. matthew357

    matthew357

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    Ice wine anyone?

    Matt
     
  9. kimmie

    kimmie

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    B.C. Chef,

    It also pairs particularly well with roasts, game, hard cheeses and beef. I have yet to experience it with chocolate! :lips:
     
  10. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I will almost always choose a port to pair with chocolate. Personally, I find Tawny's to be the best match for it. I wouldn't waste a good vintage port, these are best drunk afterwards. Rubies work decently, but still something with a little more age, a little mellower, with a little more leather and tabacco. Yup, that would be a Tawny.

    Though in my opinion, there is never a wrong time to drink port!!!!:lips:
     
  11. kimmie

    kimmie

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    It's at least something we agree on, Pete!!

    But even sweet sherry or Madeira would pair well.

    However, the very best pairing is MILK! :p
     
  12. isa

    isa

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    You are so right Kimmie. Nothing beats a tall glass of ice cold milk with chocolate. :lips:
     
  13. david jones

    david jones

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    Quady Elysium

    Billecarte-Salmon Rose

    anything you say, 'cause everybody else is afraid to pick, too!!!!