I had a great teacher who, when teaching a food and wine pairing class, said that chocolate and Cabernet are one of those terrible combinations that seem like they should be great, but really aren’t. They’re both dark and rich and sexy – what could go wrong? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Chocolate’s sweetness clashes with a dry wine like Cabernet, making it taste bitter and sour. Many food and wine pairing rules are meant to be broken, but I have a lot of eating and drinking under my belt, not to mention quite the sweet tooth, and I’ve only seen this work once, with a very talented chef. I’ve learned the hard way that I am many things, but a future contestant on Top Chef is not one of them.
So, what does go with chocolate?
Port is a classic choice, and ruby Port is especially nice with dark chocolate. So, break out a nice half bottle of vintage Port with, say, a dark chocolate bar from Double Premium Confections (we’ve got special ones this week decorated with hearts that are 20% off their regular price!), and be very happy.
Who is that pretty lady, and why is she playing badminton? We’re not sure, but with a lighter or creamier dessert like that Valentine’s Day classic chocolate mousse, you can’t go wrong with Fracchia Voulet. This sweet, fizzy, low-alcohol wine is fun and festive, and its delightful pink froth is just so romantic.
The most hands-down romantic, decadent choice, though, especially if you’ve got some chocolate covered strawberries (hey, some cliches exist for a reason!), is this gorgeous off-dry rose Champagne from Jean Vesselle. This beauty is full of gorgeous Pinot fruit and just happens to be a bit sweet. It proves that Champagne doesn’t have to be dry to be sophisticated.
Have any slam-dunk chocolate pairings or romantic Valentine’s Day plans? Let us know!