chocolate and wine pairing

Whether you want to create a special gift basket or you’re planning on hosting a tasting party, choosing the right wine to go with the right chocolate is key. If done correctly, the pairing will enhance the flavors and sensations of the wine and the chocolate, allowing you to experience both in a completely new way.

Chocolate and Wine Pairings

A good rule of thumb for chocolate and wine pairing is to match the sweetness of the wine with the chocolate. Lighter chocolate is typically sweeter, while sweet wines are usually ripe with fruit-forward flavors.  If the sweetness level is mismatched, your wine will taste sour.

White Chocolate

White chocolate’s buttery, creaminess is an ideal match with sweeter dessert wines. Serve a white chocolate mousse with a sweet (not dry) Riesling, white chocolate fudge with Moscato, or white chocolate brownies with a sweet Rosé.

Milk Chocolate

Middle of the road milk chocolate combines cocoa with milk, sugar, and cream for a smooth, chocolatey taste with a vanilla aftertaste. Partner up a milk chocolate mousse torte with Pinot Noir, milk chocolate dipped strawberries with Merlot, or milk chocolate truffles with Gewürztraminer.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is bitter, with fruit and cocoa flavors. The level of cacao in your dark chocolate (over 80% cacao is very intense) should match the intensity of your wine. Steer clear of fruity or sweet wines, but instead match up a salted dark chocolate tart with Zinfandel, dark chocolate cake with Cabernet Sauvignon, or dark chocolate fudge with Syrah.

Creating Wine and Chocolate Gift Baskets

Wine and chocolate gift baskets are an elegant birthday gift, Valentine’s Day present, or a wonderful surprise for any occasion. If you’re looking for inspiration, we recommend the following:

If you’re gifting a white chocolate basket, we recommend including a bottle of Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Sweet Riesling, Menage à Troi Moscato Sweet White Blend, or Korbel Sweet Rosé

When creating a milk chocolate gift basket, combine the sweets with a bottle of Baus Private Reserve Pinot Noir, Perimeter Merlot, or Trimbach Gewürztraminer.

And a bottle of Bramblewood Old Vine Zinfandel, Octopoda Cabernet Sauvignon, or Michael David 6th Sense Syrah will beautifully complement those dark chocolate truffles you include in your basket.

Finally, add fancy wine glasses, fun napkins, and colorful dessert plates as a finishing touch to your gift basket.

Host a Wine and Chocolate Tasting Party

If you’re looking for a unique party idea, why not host a wine and chocolate tasting party? Take gourmet chocolate and cut it into bite-sized pieces, then place the appropriate wine next to its chocolate pairing. Keep pitchers of water handy so guests can cleanse their palates between each nibble. 

Invite your guests to sample each chocolate with a taste of each wine, beginning with white to dark chocolate and light to full bodied wines. Compare notes on favorites when everyone has finished.