When Easter approaches, store shelves are filled with chocolates, and those with a sweet tooth cannot resist the temptation. So, when a chocolate lover is also a wine lover, the marriage of passions promises to be delicious. So let's see what are the best wine and chocolate pairings .
The origins of Easter
Easter is the most important holiday in Christianity, and commemorates the resurrection of Jesus. During Lent, the consumption of certain foods was prohibited, and in particular all meats and their derived products, including eggs. But, during these 40 days of fasting, we could not prevent the hens from laying eggs. So we put the eggs aside, waiting to be allowed to eat them. The egg then symbolizes renewal , rebirth, and life.
It was only later, around the 19th century, that egg hunting appeared. The eggs are then made of chocolate, to make the moment more festive and tasty.
Wine tasting: the aroma of chocolate
The aromas of wine are very varied, and classified into several families. We then distinguish:
- Primary aromas , or varietal aromas, from the grape berry;
- Secondary aromas , resulting from fermentation;
- Tertiary aromas , resulting from the aging of the wine.
Each of these categories includes different aromas characteristic of wine. The aroma of chocolate is part of tertiary aromas, and more precisely, empyreumatic aromas . These flavors are characterized by a burnt taste, such as tobacco, toast, roasting...
Generally speaking, we find empyreumatic aromas and chocolate flavors in wines made from Grenache Noir, such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. But the cocoa aroma is also often present in Bordeaux red wines made from Merlot, such as Saint-Émilion.
What wine goes best with chocolate?
Pairing wine and chocolate is not that simple. The big difficulty essentially comes from the bitterness of the chocolate and the tannins of the wine, which are difficult to combine. It is then a matter of finding the right balance so that one enhances the other, and vice versa.
What wine goes best with dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate is chocolate that contains at least 43% cocoa. However, the more cocoa a chocolate contains, the richer it is in tannins . Furthermore, dark chocolate is rich in sugar and fat , and its flavors are very powerful. But it is above all its slight bitterness at the end of tasting which should attract attention.
For all these reasons, it is advisable to accompany dark chocolate with a sweet and slightly tannic red wine .
Then opt for a wine made from Carignan or Merlot, or for a natural sweet wine.
Which wine goes best with milk chocolate or praline?
As its name suggests, milk chocolate is made from chocolate, but also milk. Its bitterness is much less marked, but the sugar content is higher . Logically, it is therefore not recommended to accompany milk chocolate or praline with a sweet wine, which will saturate the taste buds and spoil the tasting.
The ideal is then to serve dry and fruity white wines with milk chocolates . The flavors will then be balanced, and the fruity and floral aromas of the wine will be highlighted.
You can then go with your eyes closed towards a Riesling or a Gewurztraminer, for example.
What wine goes best with white chocolate?
White chocolate is a bit different, in that it does not contain cocoa. Made from cocoa butter only, it therefore has no tannins, and is very sweet in the mouth.
It is therefore advisable, again, to serve a dry white wine with white chocolate , in order to bring lightness and freshness to the chocolate.
Sparkling wine and chocolate: the trap
It is not uncommon to be served a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine to accompany a chocolate-based dessert. However, this agreement is not the most judicious. In fact, sparkling wines are often too acidic , and their aromas are too fine to highlight the chocolate. It is better to avoid this marriage, and go for sweet wines.
Chocolate and rosé wine: is it a good idea?
The marriage of rosé wine and chocolate is rather perilous. You then have to find the perfect vintage, with enough notes of fruit and sweetness, but relatively little acidity. Of course, the pairing seems difficult, but once you find the rare gem, the tasting is incredible!
Our selection for a successful wine and chocolate pairing
Are you looking for the bottle of wine that will go well with a pretty box of chocolates or a chocolate dessert? The Domaine de Berne offers you two vintages which go very well with chocolate .
- Terres de Berne Rouge 2020 - AOP Côtes de Provence: this red wine made from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon reveals persistent fruity aromas and a fruity finish. These qualities make it a wine of choice to accompany chocolate;
- Grande Cuvée Rosé du Château de Berne 2021 - AOP Côtes de Provence: this rosé wine from organic farming knows how to highlight chocolate thanks to its fruity aromas and floral finish.
Chocolate is far too often served with red wine. However, the wine and chocolate pairing can be enhanced by white or rosé wines, and amaze your guests. Would you like to find the perfect match? Visit the tasting cellar of the Domaine de Berne to take part in a “wine and chocolate” workshop .
Treat yourself to some superb Christmas chocolates !