Wine and chocolate are two of life’s greatest indulgent pleasures. When paired together properly, the experience of enjoying both together can be absolutely amazing. With February bringing all the romance of Valentine’s Day that lasts throughout the month, now is the time to try our favorite chocolate and wine pairings to sweeten up this season of love!
SOME GENERAL RULES TO CONSIDER
Even though wine and chocolate have a lot of similarities between them, keep in mind it can be challenging to pair various types together. When chocolate and wine are matched poorly, it can result in a bitter tragedy in your mouth! Since they both have very intense flavor profiles, they can easily overwhelm your palate. You have to make sure your pairings match the intensity equally between the wine and chocolate, or go the safer route and choose a wine that is slightly sweeter.
The secret to chocolate and wine pairing is to identify the unique flavor profile of wine you are drinking. Once you have this, the chocolate you choose can be used to influence the tasting notes of the wine. Wilbur Chocolate has recipes that fit the chocolate descriptions in the chart image above. These chocolates are wonderful for eating, candy-making, dessert preparation:
White Chocolate - Wilbur Platinum white chocolate (listed again below)
Milk Chocolate - Wilbur Cashmere milk chocolate
Dark Milk Chocolate - Wilbur Guernsey milk chocolate
Below you will also find interesting chocolate confections to taste and enjoy with your wine choices!
WINES TO PAIR WITH DARK CHOCOLATE
Pairing wine with a dark chocolate such as our Wilbur Semisweet Chocolate Buds or our Semisweet (Dark) Chocolate Covered Chocolate Buttercreams, calls for more “classic” varieties. Dark chocolate’s lower sugar content lets it to be paired with a lower residual sugar wine, although you may want a tinge of sweetness for balance.
WINES TO TRY
Look for juicy Zinfandels or Pinot Noirs, or perhaps go a bit sweeter with a Vintage or Tawny Port. Another great pairing for dark chocolate is a tannin-driven Cabernet Sauvignon. For a perfect pairing, try a Shiraz (which is practically made for dark chocolates) – it will taste stunning when coupled with our Hand-Dipped Glazed Peach Slices.
WINES TO PAIR WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE
White chocolates pair beautifully with sweet white wines. But don’t be fooled, white chocolate is also one of the only chocolates that can match well with a dry red wine! Be sure to try our Wilbur Platinum White Chocolate Wafers with the wines listed here.
WINES TO TRY
You will want to seek out a late-harvest sweet Riesling or frothy Moscato d’Asti. Ice-style wine is a must-try with white chocolate, as well – this combination will bring out the fruit flavors of the wine. If you are wanting to try a dry red with your pairing, go for a Pinot Noir!
WINES TO PAIR WITH MILK CHOCOLATE
Milk chocolate is one of the simplest true chocolates to pair with wine due to the extra fat from the cream it is made with. Whether you are indulging in our Wilbur Milk Chocolate Buds, Milk Chocolate Covered Chocolate Buttercreams, or any of our Wilbur milk chocolate products, you will not be disappointed with how this chocolate pairs with a wide range of wines.
WINES TO TRY
Try some different sweeter wines with milk chocolate such as sweet Riesling, a sweeter Port, or for something even more exciting, pair with a Lambrusco (froth, bubbles, and jammy red-fruit flavors = YUM)! You can also try out a Merlot, (which brings out a note of cocoa behind blackberry and cherry fruit flavors), or a nutty Sherry to add a layered texture to the pairing.
WINES TO PAIR WITH CARAMEL CHOCOLATESCaramel adds a little something extra to chocolate, and not just sweet salinity with the inclusion of sea salt. Chocolate caramels are the perfect coordination of sweet, salty, and richness mixed with bitter. Our Milk Chocolate Covered Caramels with Sea Salt or our Milk Chocolate Pecan Crabs are both an excellent combination with the wines listed below.
WINES TO TRY
Any type of sweeter wine such as Moscato d’Asti, Asti Spumante, or Lambrusco are all wonderfully complimentary to chocolates with caramel. Dessert wines like a Tawny Port are stellar with caramel, too, because they add a nutty complexity to the richness. A wine that is overlooked, like Cream Sherry, pairs well with salty sweet flavors, be sure to give it a try, as well!