When I was introduced to pairing wine with chocolate, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Not only do you get the dopamine "feel-good" rush from the chocolate, but also the soothing affect from the wine. Talk about a nice mellow buzz ;-)
When it comes to pairing wine with chocolate, there are no absolutes. However, you might want to start experimenting by seeking out wines that have the same flavor notes as the chocolate. For the adventurous soul, seek out wines that have contrasting flavor notes.
Below are some suggestions to help you get started pairing wine with chocolate.
Bittersweet Chocolate ~ Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel
Milk Chocolate ~ Muscat, Tawny Port
Semisweet Chocolate ~ Bordeaux, Merlot, Tawny Port, Ruby Port
White Chocolate ~ Champagne, Muscat, Riesling
Chocolate with Fruit-creme centers ~ Marsala, Pinot Noir, Rose Champagne
Fruit-Flavored Chocolates (Chocolate Covered Cherries, Strawberries or Truffles with fruit centers) ~ Merlot, Ruby Port
Chocolate with Mint centers ~ Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel
Chocolate with Nuts ~ Cabernet Sauvignon, Sherry, Tawny Port
Chocolate and wine pairing parties are becoming quite popular and are a great way to experiment with new flavors. There are two ways to host a wine pairing with chocolate party. Either you can provide the wine and chocolate OR invited guests can bring a bottle of wine and their favorite chocolate. I don't know about you, but as The Cheap Gourmet, I like the second option.
Wine and chocolate pairing parties can be a lot of fun. However, please, please, please do not let guests drink and drive. One solution to this concern is to hire a limo service for the evening. Imagine having guests delivered to your door in a stretch limo. That will get your neighbors talking!
While you might be thinking limo service is too expensive, if everyone pitches in, it can be more cost effective than a round-trip taxicab. If you host your party during the week, limo rates are typically lower.
Another option is to have a sleepover. Seriously, when was the last time you had one? Invite guests to bring their sleeping bag and jammies along with their favorite bottle of wine and box of chocolates.
Whether you host a party for 2 or 102, have fun experimenting with the various wines and chocolates. Don't be afraid to venture into unknown territory. Once you discover your favorite pairing, feel free to share it with us by posting in the Comments section.