Chocolate and Wine Pairing 101
Learn the "Top 3 Rules to Chocolate and Wine Pairing". We'll also teach you the basic chemistry of red wine and cacao along the way—so you can really taste like a pro!
1. The Wine Should Be Sweeter Than the Chocolate
If the chocolate is sweeter than the wine, the solids in the chocolate will dominate and over-saturate the palate, making the wine taste thin, tart, and heightened with bitterness.
- Fruitiness in dry red wines can be canceled out with high sugar-chocolates.
- Some subtle, delicate flavor compounds can be heavily subdued with high dairy content chocolates.
In order to fully appreciate the complex flavors of red wine and chocolate, it's important to understand their science. See below infographics for a brief food science overview:
Chemistry of Red Wine:
Chemistry of Cocoa:
2. Taste from mild to bold
Tasting from mild to bold is a standard industry process that flavor experts and trained taste testers follow as a rule of thumb. This helps avoid wrecking your palate, this phenomenon is known in the industry as "fatigue".
When Brisan presented a "Wine and Chocolate Pairing 101", we used the following samples for demonstration:
Taste 1st: 56% Cacao Chocolate Paired with Port
Wine: 2009 Dow's LBV Port ($22.99/bottle)
Chocolate: 365 Organic Dark Chocolate, 56% Cacao
Taste 2nd: 72% Cacao Chocolate Paired with Zinfandel
Wine: 2012 Cline Zinfandel ($11.99/bottle)
Chocolate: Endangered Species Chocolate, Natural Dark Chocolate, 72% Cacao
3. Pay Attention to the Subtle Flavor Nuances
On the packaging of chocolates and wines, companies traditionally call out a short sensory description of the product, make sure to read and use your best judgement.
Craving more food science information about chocolate chemistry?
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