How to Pair Wine with Chocolate

Pairing wine and chocolate definitely sounds like it should be a no brainer. After all, these two are so intimately entwined in movies as the ultimate romantic gesture. In reality, finding the right wine pairing for your favorite chocolate can actually be a bit harder. Both wine and most chocolates have tannins — a complex molecule that adds bitterness and complexity. This means you need to be careful with your pairings, as pairing a rich dark chocolate with a strong red wine can lead to overwhelming bitterness.

This doesn’t mean that we need to make the issue complicated. A good rule of thumb is the lighter the chocolate, the darker the wine. As always, our rule is: if you like it, it’s a wonderful pairing.

Dark Chocolate

This category is for those who pay attention to cacao percentages and love bold flavors. Because it is so bold and strong, the best wine pairings are going to be ones that complement, not clash. Look for something sweeter and lighter to emphasize the boldness of a bitter chocolate. Choose a Port or a Sherry for the classic pick. For an out of the box choice, try a Rosé.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is the quintessential chocolate treat. It’s well-balanced and makes for a lovely pairing with many wines. Try this chocolate with everything from a nice red blend to a Moscato to see what you like best.

White Chocolate

The creamy and mild flavors of white chocolate make it a nice choice for some drier reds. Think a vibrant Pinot Noir or Merlot. If you still want a White wine, a dry Pinot Gris is a foolproof choice.

Whatever chocolate confection you enjoy, don’t worry too much about finding the perfect pairing. If it is a combination you love, it is already fabulous!  That said, definitely consider trying new things. You may come to find there’s a wine and chocolate combination that would make for your ultimate movie bubble bath moment. Live your fantasy.