A Guide to Wine & Chocolate Pairing at Home

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Wine and chocolate complement each other perfectly, but it can be a challenge to find the right combination for a world of flavour on your tastebuds. 

Try drinking a delicious glass of dry cabernet sauvignon with a piece of dark chocolate – you’ll immediately notice a bitter and sour taste! The taste imbalance is caused by the high levels of flavanols (various types of tannin) found in both chocolate and red wine, which end up clashing with each other.

Fortunately, red wine isn’t the only option you have for a dinner-and-dessert date, or a fun tasting party. There are plenty of wines that pair well with chocolate, and you can get creative at home with your experiments.

Whether you are matching the smooth, creamy nuances of delicate white chocolate or the lively,  striking notes of dark chocolate to a favorite wine, here are a few pairing tips to keep in mind.

Milk chocolate & light-bodied reds

A good milk chocolate is usually about half chocolate and half cream, making it much sweeter than the other examples we’ve listed down below. (Especially if it contains fruit flavours!) That’s why it needs to be paired with wines that are light to medium in body, with a ripe fruit character. 

Although milk chocolates taste great with virtually any type of wine, we’re partial towards the medium-bodied Noblesse Cabernet Sauvignon. This refined Chilean wine exhibits notes of oak, a little bit of blackberry and vibrant acidity.  

In our Indulgence gourmet food hamper and red wine gift, surprise a loved one with a basket of Simply Hamper’s best-selling delicacies. Filled to the brim with delectable, internationally sourced treats, such as Cupido’s Hazelnut Chocolate Seashells and Lindt Lindor Assorted Cornet chocolates, you’ll be sure to put a smile on any wine lover’s face! 

Purchase at Simply Hamper.

Dark chocolate & juicy reds

If you’re not one for ultra-sweetness, dark chocolate is your best bet. Some brands recognized for amazing dark chocolate include the French Valrhona, Swiss Lindt, and Belgium’s Godiva

The tannin overload from dark chocolate and a full-bodied, dry red wine may lead to bitterness. Wines with a hint of residual sweetness can help to alleviate the bitterness of tannins in dark chocolate and make it melt wonderfully in your mouth.

That’s why we recommend Château Fleurs Vignobles, a soft, velvety red that contains notes of strawberry and coffee, to balance out the richness of dark chocolate. This is a wine to be savoured in small sips! Paired with Hamlet’s assorted Belgian chocolates, your taste buds are sure to be bombarded with a smorgasbord of delightful flavours. 

Purchase at Simply Hamper.

White chocolate & sweet whites

White chocolate, which is made with cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, has a buttery flavor with notes of honey and cream. A mouth-watering addition to our wine and chocolate library, it makes for an ideal candidate next to sweet white wines such as ice wine and rosé. 

Pairing white chocolate with wine is easier than it seems. Our team at Simply Hamper, in particular, love the creaminess of white chocolate-coated nougats paired with JP. Chenet Ice Edition on the rocks. The JP. Chenet Ice Edition Rosé is also a must-try combination, as it offers sparkling flavours of sweet strawberries and currant.

Our Big Box Surprise gourmet food hamper provides a perfect platter for two, with snacks and desserts both sweet and savoury! Cleanse your palate with Cupido’s Belgian cherry-infused chocolates, or Burt’s Sea Salt Potato Chips in between tastings.  

Purchase at Simply Hamper.

Do it yourself!

If you want to experiment with wine and chocolate pairings in an easy and inexpensive DIY way, simply pick up a box of assorted chocolates and open up a few bottles of wine! Taking a “mix and match” approach to discovering your own specific palate preferences will provide you with hands-on understanding of your own favourite amalgamations. 

Don’t be afraid to splurge if it’s something you enjoy, but don’t feel pressured to break the bank either. What’s most important is that you find the taste profile you love the most, and have a good time with your loved ones at home. Happy tasting!

Discover more Wine Gift Hampers and Classic Gourmet Hampers by Simply Hamper.


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