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Wine & Chocolate: The Love Affair You Want to be a Part of

Samantha Sanchez

Ah, the most decadent of duos: wine and chocolate.

Together, they seem so natural, but don’t let their common smooth, silkiness fool you – they’re actually quite the tough match. Not to worry, Gold Medal Wine Club is here to help you make the perfect pairings as you craft your wine and chocolate gift basket for yourself, your girls, or your guy just in time for cupid and his arrow.

Will you be my Valen-wine board with chocolate trufflesIn the name of love, obviously, I staged a wine and chocolate tasting with the wines (to be mentioned below) to help provide a guideline for your wine and chocolate date night.

If you haven’t experienced the magic of Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat, and how these flavor components enhance your culinary experience, follow these steps, and prepare to have your mind blown.

Step 1: Buy chocolate!

In my pairings, I used Lindt chocolate, a delicious and accessible chocolate brand. However, I encourage you to embrace the world of chocolate and not feel limited in your choices. We also have spectacular handmade chocolate truffles available in our Wine Store and Wine Gift Sets!

Step 2: Drink (but not too much).

Try your wine, ponder it, make the appropriate “oo” and “aah” noises. We start with the wine because chocolate tends to coat your mouth, and you want to be able to taste both without the influence of the other, to start.

Step 3: Ok fine, eat your chocolate

I imagine by now your taste buds have been patiently watering in anticipation – take mental notes of what you taste in the chocolate and compare them to the wine.

Step 4: Try your wine again. Again? Yes, again.

Now, that the chocolate has properly coated your mouth, or is even still in your mouth, take a sip of wine and experience the rush of ecstasy that the amazing duo of wine and chocolate provide. You’re welcome.

Step 5 (Optional): Clean your mouth!

No, you don’t need to brush your teeth or swish mouthwash. I want to enhance your experience, not ruin it! If you prefer, a palette cleanser such as a slice of green apple can be used in between tastings so you’re fresh for your next tasting duo.

Disclaimer: I am no sommelier, and in most cases, neither are you! Leave room for error and remember that everyone’s palate is different. Something that pleases the tastes buds of one, could certainly be unpleasant to another. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t taste a difference. Tasting is truly a skill, and everyone needs to start somewhere. Another helpful hint is to reference general tasting notes for common wine varieties on our site or one like Wine Folly to help connect your brain and your taste buds!

white wine with chocolate truffles

White Wine & Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt

White wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc tend to be light and acidic, dry white wines that won’t do well with too sweet of chocolate, which is why I chose a milk chocolate with sea salt, because as we know, salt makes everything just a little bit better. In this case, the saltiness of the chocolate cuts the acidity of the wine rather than enhance it, which makes my – and hopefully your - heart sing.

GMWC wines to try:

Pinot Noir wine and chocolates

Pinot Noir & White Chocolate

Pinot Noir Club Members and Pinot lovers...this is for you! Pinot and white chocolate are a match made in heaven. Although white chocolate is actually a chocolate imposter, we let it slide since its lack of cacao does absolute wonders in bringing out strawberries and raspberries in the Pinot.

GMWC wines to try:

Merlot in wine glass with chocolate pairing next to it

Merlot & Dark Chocolate

It’s no surprise these two dark beauties go so well together. Be careful not to go too dark with your chocolate, as the bitterness may cut out what Merlot has to offer. If you’re feeling experimental, milk chocolate & caramel can be a nice pairing with Merlot as well, particularly one that has been on the shelf for a few years.

GMWC wines to try:

Cabernet Sauvignon bottle next to stemless wine glass and chocolates all around

Cabernet Sauvignon & Dark Chocolate Strawberry

My personal favorite of the four, a dark and fruity chocolate makes you want to melt into your seat when paired with a Cab. The often fruit forward and jammy quality (think currants and blackberries) of Cabernet Sauvignon is delightfully complemented by the strawberry and slight bitterness in the chocolate.

GMWC wines to try:

If you want to try your own hand at wine-chocolate matchups, here’s a tip! When thinking about pairings, think, ‘does this wine make the chocolate taste better?’ and vice versa. ‘Does this chocolate enhance the flavor profile of the wine?’

It’s that simple. Cheers!

Samantha Sanchez Author Bio Image Author Bio: Samantha is a recent graduate of University of California, Davis with a BS in Viticulture and Enology. She is experienced in the laboratory and technical sides of winemaking and loves writing about wine when she’s not working a harvest. She is passionate about traveling the world and sharing her experiences with others!