Recently I’ve had some sort of a writer’s block My culinary imagination has abandoned me. Funny… when I first started this blog I was swearing this was not going to be a culinary blog.
In a mean time I got so caught up in the process of aquiring new chocolatier skills, that I simply had to share my recipies. Now it’s time to get back to the (boring?) roots. Theory. Lots of it. And so today we’re going to discuss chocolate and wine. More precisely how to pair chocolate with wine.
Today it will all be about serving chocolate.
And not just any chocolate , but in a duet with one of the most romantic, and at the same time the most treacherous liquors and by that I mean of course – wine.
As we all know, pairing wine with any kind of food is an art on its own, but pairng wine with chocolate proves to be a particularly difficult task.
Although it seems perfectly logical to serve the two together, contrary to the structural similarities, wine and chocolate seem to be a combination made in hell.
When pairing chocolate and wine we can apply one of the following approaches :
Option 1. We can assume that chocolate is not a dish per se. It only is featured in various dishes. And so we follow the main ingredient and serve our wine accordingly.
This way we get rid of the hellish dillema and we are good to open a bottle of our favourite wine and enjoy the hell (that word again!) out of it. Bottoms up!
Option 2. We treat chocolate like meat (any vegans out there? ) and we pair it according to the colour key. White and white, dark and dark. Sweet and very sweet. It’s literally that simple.
Now that we’ve mastered this complicated art- we go back to the step two of the option one. That is – we are good to open a bottle of our favourite wine and enjoy the hell out of it. Bottoms up!
Option 3. It will hurt. The third option is to suck it up, stay though and continue reading. No consolation wine is provided (sorry!!)
Are you still with me ?
If you already started enjoying a glass or two – that’s fine with me. You deserved it, after this, rather prolonged introduction,
Now the time has come for the right content or so – called “body”.
Many connoisseurs of the topic emphasize that the administration of wine with chocolate desserts is an industry (and not only) “no-no”. In other words – NO GO ZONE, DO NOT DO IT, NEVER EVER. NOPE. PERIOD.
Both wine and chocolate have their own, rather intense flavor bouquet, making them “suffocate” each other. (by the poetic expression, I mean of course they both have dominant textures and flavours and so it’s difficult to enjoy both at the same time).
Why is that?
Wine and cocoa are a rich source of tannins. Tannins in wine account for its taste, and specifically for the degree of its boldness.
If, therefore, we wish to amplify the dose of tannins by adding chocolate to wine, we will suddenly make our liquor gain a more pungent taste (which is not something everyone can come to terms with).
In addition, the mixture of these two substances, thanks to tannins, increases the taste of bitterness and acidity in the mouth. Sounds great, doesnt, it?
Another important aspect that every connoisseur should take into account is the serving temperature.
I have already written about tempering chocolate (translation coming soon). Tempering, just to remind you briefly, aims to control the secondary melting of chocolate (whaaaa?)
The whole secret of our love of chocolate is based on the fact that the well-tempered chocolate dissolves at 37 °c, which by chance is a value close to the temperature of the human body.
But with wine, it’s quite a different story.
Red, as we know, is served at a room temperature (now- a small surprise-room temperature for red wine is not, as it is commonly believed , 21 °c, but 15 °c or the temperature of a chamber of a French chateau; true story), while white wine should be served well chilled to about 5-7 °c. Therefore, it is hard to find a thermal (so to say) medium and serve the chocolate and wine together.
Despite these difficulties, if you are like me, stubborn as a mule, here’s a set of tips for wine and chocolate pairing for beginners:
- The general rule is that wine served with chocolate should be sweeter than chocolate . The classic combination is a dark chocolate or desserts on its base plus red, sweet Porto.
- Combine light wines with light chocolate. For white chocolate It is best to serve white wines such as Tokaj or German Riesling, or you can try to break the bland taste of white chocolate with a glass of refreshing Muscat.
- Liquors with more complex bouquet combine with more sophisticated chocolates (artisan chocolate, specific bean-to-bars).
- Milk chocolate goes well with Porto, Burgund wines, Pinot Noir, sweet Madeirą and Merlot
- And finally the most important. The dark chocolate is served and paired with wine according to the content of cocoa solids %. Lighter chocolate can be served with the wine of the Cabernet Sauvignon strain (especially with the more fruity Californian varieties). Chocolates with higher solid content will go well with Merlot and, above all, with Pinot Noir.
I personally consume mostly chocolate 80% together with Burgundian Pinot Noir.
And you have experience in this matter? Do you think you should combine chocolate with wine on one table? Write down in the comment section. Pretty please :-)