February 14, 2019
Perfect Pairings: Chocolate
Chocolate and wine: two quintessential elements of Valentine’s day that make for delightful celebration. Yet, these two delicacies can pose a challenge when pairing together considering the complexity of wine combined and the availability of an endless array of chocolates. We reached out to Cathy Lindahl, Tavern Director and Sommelier at the Red Fox Inn & Tavern and Booth Hardy, Sommelier at Barrel Thief Wine Shop and Cafe to help create perfect chocolate and wine pairings.
Cathy notes, “White Chocolate technically isn’t chocolate, so it is somewhat easier to pair, as it doesn’t have the bitter components that sometimes make chocolate difficult to pair.” She suggests a sweet Riesling or a Virginia Sparkling. “The sweet citrus notes and acidity of Riesling mingle well and Sparkling wine amplifies white chocolate’s creamy flavor and texture.”
Booth also noted that chocolate and wine pairings aren’t always straightforward. “Chocolate tones down the complexity in wine so I don’t like anything too serious; sweetness in the wine is almost always good for a solid pairing.” For white chocolate, he recommends an off-dry sparkling white, perhaps made from Vidal.
Both Cathy and Booth recommended a Virginia Chambourcin. Booth notes that a late harvest Chambourcin would pair beautifully with chocolate similar to Kinder Bueno. Cathy expands this, saying, “Virginia Chambourcin can be made in a multitude of styles. A fuller-bodied style with a little more residual sugar is a great match to milk chocolate! Plenty of fruit flavor, spice and acidity make this a great dry red with milk chocolate. Be sure to steer clear from very dry, smoky, foxier styles.”
Booth suggests a fortified Port-style red wine to pair with simple dark chocolate. He also created a stunning pairing between Gearharts Fine Chocolates’ Candied Orange Peels and a late-harvest Virginia Petit Manseng.
Cathy agrees that Port-style dessert wines will create the perfect pair you are seeking. “Dark chocolate is the hardest chocolate to pair,” she reminds us, “but when done well, can be the most satisfying pairing!” In addition to a Port-style wine, she recommends more fruit-forward, lush styles of Merlot. “The deep blueberry, plummy flavors really offset the intensity of dark chocolate. Matching intensity is key, but try to stay away from reds with a high-tannic profile like Petit Verdot or Cabernet Sauvignon as they can bring out bitter flavors.”
Enjoy making today, and every day, a bit sweeter with these suggestions on the perfect pairs between chocolates and Virginia wines. Cheers!
More Virginia Wine Stories
May 24, 2022
Sip into Summer with Virginia Wine
From light and bright whites to rosé and cider, your new favorite glass awaits. Summer time calls for easy-drinking, refreshing bottles. Taste through the suggested wines below and explore this Light & […]Read More
November 15, 2021
A Taste of Winter
As the warmer seasons fade, glasses are often filled with heartier reds. But winter isn’t just for red wines. Stay cozy with Virginia’s diverse white wines perfect for pairing or […]Read More
June 30, 2021
Light & Bright Pairings
No matter the season or the taste you’re looking for, Virginia has something for everyone. With diverse soils and climates across the regions, Virginia’s wines and offerings provide something unique […]Read More
May 22, 2019
Summer Sips & Savors
Summertime will be here before we know it. Fill your wine fridge with refreshing #vawine to have on hand for all of your favorite summer activities — porch sitting, lounging […]Read More
March 29, 2019
Perfect Pairings: Herbs
Herbs and wine: an essential combination to elevate your pairings. As we welcome warmer weather, longer days, and the new blooms that come with the start of spring, it’s the […]Read More
January 20, 2019
Perfect Pairings: Cheese
Cheese and wine: a centuries-old partnership that continues to delight and surprise gourmands all over the world. Today is National Cheese Lovers Day, and because we know those who love wine […]Read More