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.