Wine and chocolate have always been fashionable Valentine’s Day gift ideas, but most people don’t attempt combining the two as a gift. If you have the perfect wine to complement a succulent chocolate, you could be on your way to heaven. Here’s a few tips to consider when pairing your wine with lighter white chocolates and animated dark chocolates.
Successfully Pairing Wine with Chocolate
The #1 rule you should follow is your wine should be as sweet, if not sweeter, than the chocolate. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bitter or sour taste. We suggest pairing lighter more eloquent chocolates, with sweeter light wines. Uniformly, the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be.
For example, pairing a bittersweet dark chocolate with a bold red California Zinfandel will match perfectly. When experimenting with several varieties of chocolate, do just as you would in a formal wine tasting sitting, start from light to dark. Begin with a more delicate white chocolate and end with a darker more poignant chocolate.
White Chocolate Wine Ideas
White chocolate can be paired with a variety of fluent wines, each with a subtle flavor of its own, adding to the rich, but neutral palette created by the white chocolate. Add to the canvas, by selecting the sweet, subtle flavors found in Moscato d’Asti, Sherry, or Orange Muscat. If you’re feeling brave, you can take a more risky course by trying to pair your white chocolate and wine selection via a contrast method. For example, pairing a rich, buttery white chocolate with a bold Zinfandel seems to have a positive effect. Just remember to have an eye for quality when choosing both the wine and the chocolate. Select your wine and chocolate with a little wisdom, and spend time researching different options.
Milk Chocolate Wine Ideas
Whether you’re having milk chocolate in a creamy-style dessert setting, or alongside some tasteful strawberries, pair your chocolate with following:
- Pinot Noir
- Ruby Port
- Light-bodied Merlot
- Sparkling Wines
Dark Chocolate Wine Ideas
Dark chocolates are best served with full-bodied wines, such as:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Red Zinfandel
- Rancho Zabaco
- Pinot Noir
- Tawny Port
- Vintage Port
To be creative this Valentine’s Day, try setting up a sampling buffet of your own. Ideally, begin with light or white chocolate, and work your way to milk chocolate and darker chocolates. Take your gift to the next level with vintage wine glasses, a generous sprinkling of rose petals on a lace tablecloth, silver trays, and candles.
Arrange your presentation and be romantic; it will come naturally. Shave pieces of chocolate, or buy the chocolates in truffle form, this will add to the overall antique look of your presentation. If you don’t have the time or the intimacy for making a huge sampling event, don’t panic. Put your wine and chocolate pairings together, and arrange them with flowers and a gift basket. A great way to compliment your Valentine’s Day gift is taking your loved one on a wine tour. If you’re in Northern California, try Napa Wine Tours for limousine tours through the Napa Wine Country.