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How to pair a treat of wine and chocolate

Valentine Planning Tips
by News Canada
February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day is a great occasion to start a new relationship, re-ignite past ones, or to remind that special someone in your life just how much you care.

And, isn't it fortuitous how gifts of wine and chocolate seem to be the fastest route to romance?

Chocolate, we agree, is more than simple candy. Chocolate not only satisfies a sweet tooth, it somehow warms the soul while stimulating the senses. It also inspires. Writers like Elaine Sherman are totally smitten: “Chocolate is heavenly, mellow, sensual, deep, dark, sumptuous, gratifying, potent, dense, creamy, seductive, suggestive, rich, excessive, silky, smooth, luxurious, celestial. Chocolate is downfall, happiness, pleasure, love, ecstasy, and fantasy. Chocolate makes us wicked, guilty, sinful, healthy, chic, and happy.”

Is there anything more one can say to their sweetheart on Valentines Day?

How about “wine”?

“Why not make the day even more heavenly by pairing your chocolate with a great glass of wine?” says David Long of the Canadian Craft Winemakers Association (CCWA), an organization that supports professional techniques for making wine at home. “When pairing, the wine should be at least as sweet, if not a touch sweeter, than the chocolate you are serving. Otherwise, the taste may quickly veer towards bitter, or sour.

“Your best bet is to match lighter, more elegant flavoured chocolates with lighter-bodied wines,” Long continued. “Likewise, the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be. For example, a bittersweet chocolate tends to pair well with an intense, in-your-face California Zinfandel.

“If you will be experimenting with several varieties of chocolates, work from light to dark. Start with a more subtle white chocolate and end on a dark or bittersweet one.”

How To Pair

Here, from CCWA are some sure-bet combinations:

  • Chocolate-covered biscotti with Valpolicella
  • Milk chocolate with lighter bodied Merlot
  • Chocolate with nuts and Tawny Port
  • Bittersweet chocolate with Amarone
  • Dark chocolate with Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Chocolate-dipped fruit with Icewine
  • Cream filled chocolates with Cream Sherry

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