Wine and chocolate – our seven dream teams

Wine and chocolate are not only rumoured to heal a broken heart but taste sensational together. Today we look at how to pair the two and reveal our favourite seven partnerships.

Any one nursing a broken heart can testify to the appeal of wine and chocolate. And these two treats really do taste delicious together. There are so many ways to team them. We all know that red wine tastes best with rich, hearty dishes, while white wine is the classic choice for lighter dishes as we already demonstrated when we introduced our latest collection of new Vapiano wines. But do we have to follow similar rules when it comes to pairing wine with chocolate? Read on for the answer and to discover seven mouth-watering combos. PS: they’re not just for the broken-hearted!

1. Mineral wine & sea salt chocolate
A dry Riesling has a distinct mineral taste. White chocolate with a citrus note and sea salt picks up on Riesling’s character, transforming this wine and chocolate pairing into a fresh, fruity experience.

2. Fruity wine & milk chocolate
Prefer a Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc to a Riesling? Not a problem. Try these fruity wines with creamy milk chocolate or one with nuts. Careful though – if the chocolate’s too sweet it will overpower the wine. Always plump for a wine that’s slightly sweeter than the chocolate. More daring epicures team a dry white wine with a peppery or chilli based chocolate!

3. Rosé & fruity chocolate  
A fruity rosé or a sweet white taste best with fruity chocolate, especially one with a similar head to the wine. Any kind of berry chocolate is a safe bet. Alternatively, try white chocolate with rose blossom or lavender.

As we all know, red wine is usually drunk with dark meat or hearty dishes, and the same applies to red wine and chocolate. A full-bodied wine demands an aromatic partner, but not one that overpowers it.

4. Light red wines & cocoa

A light, fruity red wine is best suited to a mild, but dark chocolate with at least 50% cocoa solids. However, like all wine and chocolate partnerships, make sure that one aroma doesn’t drown the other out.

5. Fruity red wine & vanilla
With its deliciously fruity notes, it’s no wonder that Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most popular red wines out there. Out tip: try this wine with a piece of fruity chocolate or one with vanilla. As one of the more dominant wines, Cabernet Sauvignon can handle a dark chocolate with cocoa solids up to 80%.

6. Full-bodied red & bittersweet chocolate
Like a full-bodied flavour? The Merlot fans among you should sample a glass with a piece of dark, bitter chocolate. However, stick to cocoa solids below 85% or the chocolate will overpower the wine.

7. Dessert wine
This one seems like the logical choice. Dessert wine, chocolate – both have a sweet taste and are served after the main meal. But with all kinds of dessert wines on offer, the chocolate that best complements them can range from very mild to very dark. Neutralise the sweet flavour of a classic dessert wine with a piece of plain chocolate. Ice wine – made from grapes harvested at a minimum of minus 7 degrees – is slightly fuller bodied and can handle a sweet, white chocolate. Dark, aromatic dessert wines like port or sherry can be enjoyed with dark, bitter chocolate with cocoa solids up to 85%. Sherry also tastes delicious with salted caramel chocolate.

And one last thing. Both your wine and your chocolate should be of the best possible quality to ensure a successful paring. Cheap chocolate has too much sugar and cheap wine is often overpowered by the taste of alcohol. And stick to a maximum of two pairings at any one time to give your taste buds some respite.

Buon appetito!