Wine and chocolate are not only two good products, but they both play an important role on a historical and cultural level, as well as having ancient roots and traditions. Chocolate and wine go well together, but finding the right pairing is not easy. Highly appreciated individually, wine and chocolate are only recently beginning to be enjoyed together at the expense of the cocoa-distilled alternative. Today, wine and chocolate pairing is cleared through customs and marks a new frontier in food and wine.
Wine and chocolate: tips for choosing the right pairing
Wine-food pairing if wine and chocolate are involved can be an open challenge for even the most experienced chefs. The golden rule for not making mistakes is that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the higher the alcohol content of the wine chosen as accompaniment should be. Generally speaking, red wine and dark chocolate are a good combination. Choosing a passito wine or a Port for chocolates with a cocoa percentage higher than 70 percent often proves to be a good choice.
Instead, what wine can be paired with chocolate desserts? Depending on the shapes and textures of chocolate, there are specific directions on how to choose wine. Soft chocolate cakes. Soft, filled chocolate cakes, such as Sacher, can be paired with a Recioto della Valpolicella, a sweet red wine produced in the Veneto region. Chocolate spoon desserts. Soft spoon desserts such as puddings and creams require an equally soft wine to accompany them. Passiti wines are therefore perfect, especially those that are fresher and more intense. Pure chocolate. In this case the wine to pair depends on the percentage of cocoa, as the higher the percentage the more bitter notes need to be balanced.
Types of chocolate and wine pairings:
- With a high cocoa concentration, a good match for dark chocolate is Barolo Chinato.
- For white chocolate, which has a less intense aroma, it is best paired with a Moscato.
- Milk. With a distinct cocoa aroma note and a more pronounced sweetness, milk chocolate can be successfully paired with Vin Santo, which makes for a balanced tasting.
Wine and chocolate: similarities and affinities
Wine and chocolate have several similarities; in fact, they are both considered aphrodisiac foods with prolonged persistence. Having these common characteristics, finding the perfect wine and chocolate pairings is even easier. Just follow the basic rule that the greater the intensity of the chocolate, the more structure the accompanying wine must have. In this case, the wine holds its own and the perception of unpleasant sensations on the palate, such as excessive acidity, is avoided.
Among the positive substances present in both cocoa and red wine are flavanols. These are antioxidant molecules that improve the elasticity of blood vessels, promote lower blood pressure, reduce fatigue, and also improve memory.
Valpolicella wines that go well with chocolate
To make a great wine and chocolate tasting you can choose wines from Valpolicella such as Recioto and different varieties of Amarone.
Recioto Della Valpolicella
A wine and dark chocolate tasting necessarily passes by Recioto della Valpolicella Classico. Recioto is a red dessert wine, perhaps the best known of the reds. It is a DOCG wine with a deep red color and violet hues. Velvety, warm and with notes of cherries, it is definitely one of the best wines to pair with desserts and chocolate cakes. It also goes well with dry biscuits and almond desserts.
Amarone della valpolicella classico
When it comes to pure chocolate, red wines are the best possible pairing. In fact, it is recognized that the pairing of Amarone della Valpolicella Classico and chocolate works. Since it is a rich, sensual and majestic wine, Amarone balances well with dark chocolate as well as with orange and salt crystals. Although traditionally, it goes well with dishes with game, meat and braised meats.
A further red wine and chocolate pairing is possible with Amarone Grazie, a structured wine that is special because it is produced only in the best vintages characterized by hot, dry summers. Characterized by a complex bouquet with fruity and roasted notes, this Amarone is also an excellent meditation wine.