A couple of years ago, I started teaching chocolate and wine pairing classes with a local sommelier. What great nights! Not only have I been able to teach and guide participants through the world of chocolate, but I’ve learned a little about wine. The following is a guide to having your own party.This past Wednesday night, I had a chocolate and wine pairing party with me, myself, and I. Below is the process I used for the buying part and the tasting part. My number one rule is have fun! Buy wine and chocolate that looks good or sounds interesting. Don’t give yourself any boundaries.
Disclaimer: I am no wine expert, I just really enjoy drinking it! The tips I am writing here are hints I’ve learned through teaching classes with my wine chick.
I picked four bottles to pair with my chocolates. I always enjoy mixing the selection with sparkling, white and red wine.
Relax Riesling (I liked the bottle)
Shooting Star Barbera
I made my own chocolates for this pairing. These delicacies are some of the more popular flavors amongst my friends and coworkers. Whether you're making your own or buying from the store, buy a mix of what you like. I usually taste four chocolates because much more gets overwhelming. If you don’t like filled chocolates, buy a variety of chocolate bars.
The Pairing Process
Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar Lips: a white chocolate ganache mixed with pureed strawberries and reduced balsamic vinegarLemon Drop Lips: white chocolate ganache infused with lemon rind and mixed with lemon juice
Almond Sea Salt Squares: roasted almonds ground to a peanut butter consistency and mixed with milk chocolate and sea salt
Whiskey and Spice: bittersweet chocolate ganache mixed with whiskey, paprika and black pepper
- Taste the chocolate from white to dark chocolate (or lowest cacao percent to highest cacao percent).
- During tastings, I start with sparkling wines, then move to whites and end with reds.
- Cleanse your palate in between each tasting with water or bread.
- Don’t drink coffee right before or during the tasting. It will dull your taste buds.
And now, to taste...
- Taste the wine and take note of the flavors. Is the wine fruity, spicy, acidic, or tannic?
- Then, taste the chocolate and take note of the flavors. Is the chocolate sweet, fruity, or buttery? How does the chocolate finish in your mouth?
- Finally, taste the chocolate, chew a little, take a sip of wine, make a “paste” in your mouth, and finish eating.
Ask Yourself:What Paired Well?
Do you like the pairing?
Does the chocolate enhance the wine?
Does the wine enhance the chocolate?
Relax Riesling + Lemon DropResources
Relax Rielsing + Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
Relax Rielsing + Almond Sea Salt
Relax Rielsing + Whiskey & Spice
Crios Rosé of Malbec + Lemon Drop
Crios Rosé of Malbec + Almond Sea Salt
Crios Rosé of Malbec + Whiskey & Spice
Shooting Star Barbera + Lemon Drop
Shooting Star Barbera + Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
Shooting Star Barbera + Almond Sea Salt
Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon + Lemon Drop
Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon + Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar
Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon + Almond Sea Salt
Root:1 Cabernet Sauvignon + Whiskey & Spice
The Overall Winner: Almond Sea Salt-it paired well with everything!
Discover Chocolate by Clay Gordon
The Chocolate Connoisseur by Chloe Doutre-Roussel