Wine and chocolate can be a pair made in heaven. Of course, our idea of mouth-watering nirvana is a luscious Super Tuscan wine from Chianti paired with silky dark chocolate. But the pairing has to be right to reach this state of joy. Wine and chocolate actually have a lot in common, each adding a special chemistry to romance. As well, they both offer intense flavors and contain different types of tannins. That’s why a dry red wine with chocolate may taste bitter. The tannin combination can be too much for your taste buds. As in romance, it’s all about striking the right balance.
Tips for pairing wine and chocolate
The best way to choose a good pairing is to look for complementary characteristics and flavors of the wine and chocolate.
To start, aim for for similar weight and intensity. Chocolate with a lighter flavor will match better with lighter-bodied wines. For example, milk chocolate, which has a lower percentage of cacao and more sugar, will go well with fruity, low tannin wines like Merlot.
On the other hand, stronger chocolate will pair nicely with more full-bodied and intensely flavored wines. Dark chocolate with a cacao level of 70% or more and a rich Super Tuscan or a bold Brunello wine will be a great combination. The comparable level of tannins in the wine and chocolate will bring out the fruity flavors of the wine.
Think about matching the tastes in the chocolate and wine. If your chocolate contains delicious things like nuts, fruit or pepper, you’ll want to match those flavors with the notes in the wine. Check the descriptions on the labels to see if the chocolate ingredients and wine notes can create a heavenly harmony.
Our picks: The best Tuscan wine and chocolate pairings
Based on these considerations, here is a selection of Tuscan wine and chocolate combinations which we‘re sure you’ll enjoy:
- Supertuscan Cabernet, Il Bacio winery. The chocolate, ginger and black pepper notes in this powerful wine pair perfectly with dark chocolate, with at least 70% cacao.
- Supertuscan Rossombroso, Solatione. This complex wine with hints of dark chocolate and black cherries goes beautifully with dark chocolate (70% cacao) with fruity aromas, such as black currant.
- Supertuscan Capro Rosso, Fattoria di Bagnolo. The concentrated fruity flavors and thick tannins of this wine also work nicely with dark chocolate (70% cacao minimum).
- Malvasia Nera, Vallone di Cecione. Enjoy chocolate that has blackberry flavors with this elegant, light wine.
- Brunello di Montalcino, Azienda il Cocco. Dark chocolate balances the typical acidity of Sangiovese grapes and enhances the hints of cacao in this intense wine.
- Supertuscan Quanta Cura, Fattoria il Paganello. This fruity wine from Chianti is a delight with ginger chocolate.
Want to try more great wine and chocolate combinations when you visit Tuscany? Join our Chianti wine, cheese, chocolate truffle and Prosecco tasting tour for a taste experience you’ll never forget.