What To Drink With Chocolate?


Joined Apr 4, 2000
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.
Joined Jan 26, 2001
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,
Joined Jul 18, 2001
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;)
Joined May 14, 2001
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.
Joined May 29, 1999
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.


also great for sales!

fun with your food
Joined Mar 13, 2001
B.C. Chef,

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


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
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:
Joined Mar 13, 2001
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


Joined Apr 4, 2000
You are so right Kimmie. Nothing beats a tall glass of ice cold milk with chocolate. :lips:
Joined Jan 15, 2000
Quady Elysium

Billecarte-Salmon Rose

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