3 Things You Didn't Know About Wine & Chocolate Pairing

Category: Drink

Love is in the air, and wine and chocolate are a match made in heaven.

Like they say, it’s as simple as 1, 2, 3 - and pairing wine and chocolate can be, too. So, keep these three things in mind and celebrate a month of love (and chocolate) with us:

1. The key to chocolate-pairing success is sweetness level.

Sipping a red without any perceptible sweetness will taste sour and bitter after a bite of sweet chocolate. Not so lovely. The sweetness of the chocolate shouldn’t overwhelm the sweetness of the wine, and vice versa.

Try our recommendation: 2016 Capuchon Rosé + Compartes Strawberry Shortcake Chocolate Bar

2. Chocolate has tannins, just like wine.

"Tannins are naturally occurring plant polyphenols that bind and precipitate proteins. They're found in fruits like grapes as well as in tea and chocolate. In fact, many wine aficionados agree that the best way to understand how tannins feel in the mouth is to taste some oversteeped tea. You'll experience a drying effect, as well as astringency, which makes your mouth pucker and is the most common sensation associated with tannins.

If you want to understand what tannins taste like, think of eating a SUPER dark chocolate bar or a tea where you’ve left the tea bag in for way too long. Tannins add structure to a wine and help wines to hold up to richer foods, so they are welcome in wines as long as they are balanced with fruit, complexity, and length in the wine.-Brooke Matthias, Wine Director at Winc.

Try our recommendations: 2016 Diviner Cabernet Sauvignon or 2016 DIME Red Blend paired with Compartés Dark Chocolate & Vanilla Sea Salt Bar

3. Remember this: bittersweet chocolate, bubbles, bittersweet chocolate, bubbles.

First take a small bite of chocolate so as to not overwhelm the wine’s delicate fruit, then following that with a healthy swig of bubbles. While the wine and the chocolate each come to the table with their own cast of fruity flavors and acidity, the wine offers a bit more both in terms of sweetness and acidity, helping to brighten the chocolate’s earthy character while counterbalancing its silky nature.

"Finke's Widow Barrel aged chardonnay is a match made in heaven with Compartes Dark Chocolate Vanilla Salt Bar. This bright and elegant sparkling wine with tasting notes of apple, butterscotch, honeysuckle is a fantastic companion to the salty dark chocolate. The bubbles help to cut through the chalky tannins in the chocolate bar." -Brooke Matthias

Try our recommendation: 2016 Finke's Widow Barrel-Aged Sparkling Chardonnay + Compartés Dark Chocolate & Vanilla Sea Salt Bar