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Wine and Chocolate: The Perfect Pairing

Friday, September 7th, 2018

wine and chocolate pairings

Chocolate is a rich, luscious, tasty treat, but it is also a rich source of antioxidants and the flavonoids have been found to have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Wine is a beverage to enjoy while socializing and with dinner, yet it has also been found help reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cataracts, strokes and colon cancer when consumed at moderate levels.

Chocolate and wine are natural companions. Both are made from fruit where terroir plays an important role. Just as grapes grown in one area of the world possess a unique quality that is specific to that region, cacao beans are also characterized by the land where they are grown. The long and delicate process — harvesting, fermentation, roasting, pressing, maturation — creates complex flavors, nuances, and notes with similar components, making chocolate and wine an ideal partnership. And as we’ve learned, they are both good for you too, so drink more wine and eat more chocolate!

General pairing guidelines:

  • Milk chocolate, with its highly caramelized sugar notes, works with a sweeter white wine, a demi-sec Champagne, or even a light red.
  • Dark Chocolate, usually 50-70% cocoa, has strong complex flavors and pairs well with robust red wine like a Shiraz or a Cabernet, which highlight the fruity and peppery notes in the chocolate.
  • Spicy chocolate complements fruity, fortified red wines like a Port or a full-bodied Zinfandel, which balance out the raciness of the chocolate.

How to do your own tasting:

As you bite into the chocolate, let it slowly melt on your tongue. Now swirl the wine and sniff the aroma, taking note of the scents. Take a sip and let it combine with the chocolate. How does it change the flavor of the chocolate?

There is no one correct way to pair chocolate and wine. Explore and try new combinations. The beauty of pairings is in the discoveries you’ll make along the way. Start with the sweeter milk chocolates and move into the more bitter dark chocolates.

Chocolate and Wine Pairings at Heart of the Desert:

At Heart of the Desert, we produce our own wines and sell a variety of chocolates in our stores. These are some of our favorite combinations.

Since they are both delicious and good for you too, cheers to drinking more wine and eating more chocolate!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.