Monday, April 29, 2013

Wine Tip: Wine and Chocolate Pairing

I probably should have hit this topic in February for Valentine’s Day, but let’s just say I’m early for next Valentine’s Day! If you are looking for a wine to pair with a Chocolate Dessert it is probably time to break out some fortified dessert wines. 
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The “fortified” part comes from the addition of alcohol to the wine. There are both dry and sweet fortified wines, so you want to make sure you get a dessert/sweet wine.  Your best bet will be a Port or a Madeira wine.  
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Port wines come in ruby (more red, fruity and "younger" tasting) and Tawny (aged for a long time, so more brownish in color and more complex in flavor).  Madeira wines are also from Portugal, will be brown in color and will also come in different styles from dry to very sweet. Although Port and Madeira are both fortified wines, Madeira is made through a very different process than Port, so will end up with darker flavors and aromas such as carmel, raisin, fig, nutmeg and clove and cinammon. Look for Bual (will be medium sweet), or Malmsey (will be sweeter).  Madeira is my very favorite dessert wine - because it has those very interesting aromas and flavors.
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If you are looking to try something different with a dark chocolate - either just the chocolate, or a dark chocolate cake that is more bitter than sweet - try with a pairing with a dry red wine. I think the combination of dark chocolate with a big Cabernet Sauvignon or a big Red Zinfandel is a great pairing - goes nicely with the bitterness of the chocolate.

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