Sometimes I broke pattern and paired dessert wine with chocolate. I've become more knowledgeable about dessert wine since I've been buying dessert wines for my beloved Aunts. For them the only kind of wine is one with a pronounced sweetness. Whether it's a Late Harvest Sauterne, or an Ice Wine like Inniskillin chocolate and dessert wine is a satisfying experience.
Most wine buffs say this is the best pairing because the chocolate should be as sweet or sweeter than the wine. Dessert wines may also be a superior pairing for chocolate because the intense sweetness calls for slow sipping. And I've learned that chocolate is at its best when allowed to melt slowly on the tongue.
My college chum Alecia says red wine and chocolate is a heavenly match. She would know. As part of an annual Christmas ritual, she works her way through various combinations of chocolate and red wine. There are the truffles, and nut filled chocolates clothed in gourmet dark and milk chocolate. BTW, the purists say chocolate with nuts is a no no. Alecia does not agree.
Cabernet Sauvignon, with that hint of cocoa and earthiness matched with dark chocolate peps up my taste buds. Cabs like Rodney Strong, Grigich Hills are a fine match. Please know there are some who insist this combination makes the chocolate sour tasting. That has not been my experience, but I'll allow that my palate may not be as finely honed as those who find it offensive. Besides, scientific studies have confirmed the health promoting properties of dark chocolate and red wine. This is health food after all:)
Port and chocolate is a dazzlingly delicious combo. Port is what's known as a fortified wine because of the added Brandy. Port has a near 20 percent alcohol content, and an intense rich flavor. There are two kinds of ports, ruby and tawny. I prefer the toffee nutty tasting tawny Port with my milk chocolate. And I'd pair it with with nutty, caramel chocolates like Turtles. I don't like fruit in chocolate , but I'm told Port is a good match for those chocolates as well. Port is not cheap stuff, but you can find reasonably priced bottles. I must say once you've had the 20 year aged liquid gold it's hard to go back. (And no, I haven't bought any, just savored it at a recent tasting) Try these if you're prepared to go off budget for your sweetie: Dow's 20 year old Tawny Port $50-60,Taylor Fladgate $60, Colheita $100. Say your love can't be bought? Try the less expensive ports like Australia's Hardy's or Jonsesy.
If you really want to try a unique chocolate and wine combination, try a chocolate dessert wine. Rosenblum's Desiree Chocolate Dessert wine is a mix of chocolate and port wine. You can sip it or guild the Lilly and pour it over ice cream.
Like all food and wine pairing, it's all about what you like. As for me, once I open up all of my Valentine cards, I'll settle in for a chick filck and my wine and chocolate. A good glass of wine is a sweet companion for chocolate, even if it's Hershey's kisses.