Like most white people, you don’t have to wait for a special occasion to experiment with chocolate and wine, any day will do. Shrove Tuesday, Christmas… a solar eclipse. Like I said any day will do. The chocolate will still taste like chocolate and the wine will still taste like wine. Unless you put them together, in which case they will taste like chocolate and wine.
I know today is Valentine’s day, and the pressures of such a commercialized holiday may be telling you to do something special. Now, although any day is a day for wine and chocolate and the tasting may occur “now” and “everywhere” there are some important decisions that must be made, and a little money spent. The following are some guidelines on how to pair wine and chocolate for that special someone, or itinerant vagrant if you are particularly desperate.
First things first, quality matters. As tempting as the cheap, day after Valentine’s chocolate may be, you must resist. Tragic, I know. But for the purpose of pairing make sure you purchase high quality chocolate. When it comes to the wine all you need is for it to be sweeter than your chocolate. If it is not, then things are going to end up tasting bitter like your last relationship. You don’t have to break the bank with the wine, however, Arbour Mist does not, I repeat, DOES NOT count as wine, no matter what the other articles in this issue say.
There is a proper and efficient (and tasty) way in which everything can and should be done. Order is everything. Wine and chocolate should be tasted from light to dark. Begin with your white wines, and lighter chocolates, or in the case of white chocolate “non-chocolates”. Then, gradually progress.
It is suggested that white chocolate be paired with Sherry, Chardonnay, or a Moscato. Moving into the milk chocolates, these pair well with a Riesling, Pinot Noir, Merlot or a Muscat. Dark chocolate works with wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, or a Pinot Noir.
For the crazy people out there (like myself) who enjoy chocolate that is 70% dark or more, pair with a Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Shiraz, or a Port. If you are unsure of what to purchase head on over to your friendly neighbourhood Liquor Mart, where the staff will be happy to help you and provide recommendations, or chase you out of the store with a broom.
I have a problem.
This doesn’t have to be an expensive evening. Instead of spending Michaelmas on your own, or with your SO, invite your equally poor friends over for a wine and chocolate orgy… I mean party. Unless you have a tarpaulin.
Coordinate with them to decide who will bring which chocolate and which wine and you are all set for a delightful Saturnalian Debauch.
If you are feeling particularly aroused, Champagne is always at least moderately suggestive, and goes well with any and all chocolate. For added effect be sure to open the bottle of champagne the way it was mean to be opened. Explosively and with a rather large kitchen knife (or sword), this is one sure-fire way to liven up any Vernal Equinox.
These are guidelines only, it’s your key party.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 22, February 14th, 2017.