By: Stefani Jackenthal
Matching wine and chocolate can be tricky as cooking a soufflé. It requires a focused balance of ingredients to rise to its full savory potential. A similar fineness is needed finding the ideal chocolate to match a particular wine’s characteristics. All too often chocolate’s sweetness overpowers the wine, making it taste tart. But the right wine and chocolate pairing is divine.
Global dark chocolates with citrus, spicy and rustic nuances do especially well with wine. Much to my pleasure, I spent excruciating hours scratching, sniffing and sampling some of the world’s best exotic chocolates to showcase in some of my recent wine and chocolate tasting. It was grueling work, of course, but I eagerly took on my mission. Oh, the sensation!
As summer roll through like a chocolate truffle on a surfboard, what better way to celebrate warm sunny days than pairing wickedly wonderful wines with decadent dark chocolate?
Stef’s Cribsheet – Wine & Dark Chocolate!
1. Villa Jolanda Prosecco, NV, Veneto, Italy
Fizzy, fun, and flaunting Asian pear, peach and freshness, Prosecco (Pro-seh-ko) was made famous by the Bellini (Prosecco and fresh peach juice) served at Harry’s Bar, Venice in 1934. Sip on its own or pair with Classic Truffles; a dark chocolate ganache enrobed in dark chocolate, rolled in cocoa powder from Knipschildt Chocolatier.
2. Chamarré Viognier, 2007 northern Rhone, France
This aromatic white from 100% Viognier grapes is lightly oaked in French barrels to create its smooth its soft, juicy body. Blossoming with enticing apricot, citrus and ripe pear, it’s a real food-lover’s wine that is wonderfully with 72% origin bar from Trinidad – made by German Chocolate maker Coppeneu – showing soft citrus and tropical fruit with a rich cocoa bouquet.
3. Chamarré Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2006, France
Fresh and crisp with notes of caramel popcorn on the nose, this 100% Chardonnay has a delightful creamy body laced with Asian pears, figs and honeysuckle. With terrific balance, acidity and minerality it’s a winner with 65% origin Quevedo bar from Equador – made by Guittard. The powerful, yet flowery chocolate has subtle nuttiness and a lingering banana-pound cake finish.
4. Chamarré Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2007, France
Fragrant strawberries and violet aroma radiate with every swirl and sniff of this 100% Pinot Noir. Overflowing with layers of ripe red fruit and cherry wood, it sports sprinkles of green olive and licks of liquorish on the finish. Sip with Ecuadorian 67% bar – from Republica Del Cacao – showing soft natural sweetness with a delicate mix of scented flowers, tropical fruit and hint of pepper and spice.
4. Chamarré Shiraz 2006, Languedoc, South of France
A velvety full-bodied sipper bursting with red plum, raspberry and splash of spice, it’s a mouthfilling treat with baskets of dark fruit and touch of toasted almond. Its supple round body is terrific with Guittard’s Sur Del Lago 65% bar from Venezuela; a unique chocolate that takes time to open to retrieve its lovely floral and ripe cherry undertones.
6. Chamarré Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2006, France
Dark ruby to the eye and brimming with bright black cherry, chewy plums, raspberry and toffee, this 100% Cabernet Sauvignon delights with elegant richness, sturdy tannins and a touch of mint on the long finish. It’s super with Sambirano bar from Madagascar made by Malagasy. This 75% dark chocolate bar has terrific rustic earthiness and coffee with notes of citrus and spice.
7. Chamarré Tradition Jurançon, 2007 Southwest France
A blend of Petit Manseng and Gros Manseng grapes, Jurançon is filled with succulent tropical fruit aromas, which lead to layers of savory peaches and cream. It’s great on its own or paired with Kakawa Beans, a decadent delight made from whole roasted cocoa beans coated in a layer of white, milk and dark chocolates, rolled in cocoa powder. Ooh, the sensation!