A simple pairing guide for lovers of wine and chocolate.
As we all celebrate Easter at home this year, it got us thinking that there is going to be a lot of chocolate to be enjoyed. So, while you’re indulging in all that chocolate why not indulge in some wine – its the ultimate double indulgence that your tastebuds will love!
The main objective of wine pairing is to balance the tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, etc) in the food and wine so that the subtle flavours can beautifully emerge. While there are several factors to consider, finding the right balance needn’t be complicated; simply look at the most obvious characters of both the wine and the chocolate – are they rich, light, full-flavoured, bitter, dry or sweet?
So once your Easter basket is full, here are some wine and chocolate pairings to try at home this Easter:
- White Chocolate – Sweet Riesling, semi-dry Sparkling Whites, Moscato
- Milk Chocolate – Muscat, Sweet Riesling, Pinot Noir, Aged Sparkling reds
- Bitter Sweet Chocolate – Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Grenache, Merlot, Barolo, Port
- Dark Chocolate – Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec, Barolo, Tawny Port,
Coonawarra is the home of Australia’s best Cabernet Sauvignon (after all!), and we of course wouldn’t miss the opportunity to pair delicious chocolate with this grand variety of ours! Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate usually work well together, and if there was to be one generic chocolate and wine suggestion, it would be this one. Because Cabernet Sauvignon is generally full-bodied, it needs to be matched with intense flavours, so turning up the cocoa content in the chocolate is key.
We are lucky to be able to draw on some in region tastings from Penley Estate, Patrick of Coonawarra, Zema Estate and Hollick Estates to provide some further tailored suggestions at home.
Penley Estate have previously paired Cuvee Chocolate with a flight of three wines. Why not try a Cabernet Franc with 42% Milk Chocolate, a Shiraz with a 65% dark chocolate and a Cabernet Sauvignon with 75% extra dark chocolate?
Take yourself on a self-guided tasting of Patrick of Coonawarra Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon with a variety of chocolates. Winemaker Luke Tocaciu of Patrick of Coonawarra paired four wines, with Milk, Ruby and Dark Chocolate, from local South Australian Chocolatiers Red Cacao.
If you have been trying your hand at baking and you have been fortunate enough to purchase flour at your supermarket then Hollick Estates Cabernet Sauvignon and chocolate chip cookies come highly recommended.
As each and every one of us has a unique palate, likes and dislikes, the only proven way to find your favourite chocolate and wine match is to experiment and we all know what a tough job that will be.
Wishing you a safe, happy and indulgent Easter and a reminder to drink responsibly.