Hello from the Vino Vault at Extra Space Storage, with locations in Charlottesville, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. We are excited to introduce our unique and perfect climate for wine storage and we are glad to share lots of wine-formation to help you continue to experience all the wonderful things that our favorite wines have to offer you. Pairing wine with chocolate is one of the most popular food and wine combinations out there, but chocolate is also one of the trickiest foods to pair wine with successfully.
Chocolate is the confectionery match to wine. Perhaps this is because the process of making chocolate is very similar to wine. Both cocoa beans and wine are fermented with the same type of yeast. No wonder there are so many wine and chocolate lovers!
The goal of all food and wine pairings is to achieve balance, and as chocolate can be simultaneously sweet and bitter at the same time, with tannins and a mouth-coating texture, balance is not always easy to achieve. Here are some considerations that will help you create a balanced and delicious pairing of wine and chocolate.
Try to gauge the sweetness level of the chocolate before picking a wine. Typically milk chocolates will be sweeter, while dark chocolates will be less sweet. For the wine pairing, the sweetness of the chocolate needs to be matched or even exceeded by the sweetness of the wine, otherwise the wine will taste dull or even bitter. Often, drinkers are reluctant to pair sweet wines with sweet food, for fear that the overall pairing will be overwhelmingly sweet. Keep portion sizes small for these indulgences to prevent sugar overload, but if you are wholly opposed to drinking sweet wine, at least aim for rich, ripe, fruit-forward wines that will help stand up to the sweetness.
The higher the cocoa content of the chocolate, the more bitterness it will typically have. Bitterness can be hard to pair with wine, especially tannic red wines which also might be a little bitter. Your best bet is to look for fruity red wines with low tannins, or a sweet and rich wine, such as Port, which can temper the bitterness of the chocolate and bring balance to the pairing.
Like grape skins, seeds, and stems, cocoa beans also have tannins, which can create a texture that can be hard to keep in balance when pairing chocolate with wine. Tannins create a drying, astringent sensation in your mouth, and if you pair a tannic red wine with a tannic dark chocolate, it can be overwhelmingly dry. Don’t do it. Additionally, milk chocolates can be creamy, and this texture is best paired with sparkling wines or wines with fresh acidity that can keep your palate refreshed.
With all of that information, we can now give you a basic breakdown to what chocolates pair well with which wines:
We hope this article helps enhance your next chocolate and wine pairing. The Vino Vault is the perfect climate for wine if you need a place to store yours!
In Charlottesville, VA call 434 270 8379 | In Charlotte, NC call 980 498 8004