We’ve got a few words on why they shouldn’t be, and a few tips on how to really make the most of your Easter by enjoying two of life’s greatest pleasures at the same damn time.
Why is it so difficult?
One reason that pairing wine and chocolate is so tricky is that both of them contain their own tannins, which means that they can really clash. That’s why a dry red wine might not go as well with that richly bitter dark chocolate as you think.
So, it’s not easy. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Heart of darkness
Lets start off with dark chocolate. The real stuff. The high cocoa, bittersweet (or just plain bitter) chocolate that might seem to be the most natural fit for wine pairing thanks to its air of refinement and more complex flavors.
It might not pair well with a dry red wine, but a red with a higher sugar content can use sweetness to cut through that bitterness. Think a Zinfandel, a Merlot, or a fortified wine like Port – something with a full body and bold, round fruit flavors.
Milk chocolate – the chocolate of Easter eggs, chocolate boxes, and probably whatever your favorite chocolate bar – is a little easier to pair with wine. It’s smoother, creamier – usually about half chocolate and half cream – and a bit milder in flavor profile.
That means that you have a few more options. You can still go red with something fruity and lighter bodied, like a Pinot Noir, but can also have a go with something even sweeter, like a Riesling or a even a dessert wine.
Finally, you can even try something fizzy. Champagne’s dryness and acidity can bring out the richness in a great milk chocolate, and complement any fresh fruits you might be having alongside it like strawberry or raspberry.
The white stuff
We know, it’s not technically “real” chocolate – it doesn’t actually contain any cacao – but when white chocolate is good, it’s really good. And, because it’s even more delicate in flavor than milk chocolate, you’ve got loads of options to choose from when it comes to wine pairing.
These include sweet sparkling wines like Moscato d’Asti and dessert wines made from Riesling grapes, but also light-bodied fruity red wines, too (these, it seems, are safe bet with any chocolate that doesn’t have an overly bitter profile).
Piece of cake
Of course, there are ways to enjoy chocolate other than just straight pieces of the stuff. There are a few red wines that will go great with your typical chocolate cake – Côtes do Rhône blends and GSMs will work a treat, as will New World reds with plenty of fruit, like a Californian or Australian Cabernet.
Cabernet also goes for chocolate chip cookies, which can be surprisingly versatile when it comes to pairing – they can also match nicely with a Shiraz, a Riesling, or even Prosecco or Champagne. Something for everyone.
There you have it – just a few options to pair with whatever sweet, sweet indulgences you have planned for Easter.
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