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Teaming chocolate with wines or spirits can often be a case of trial and error. There is some general advice, such as putting strong flavours together or opting for similar - or contrasting - notes but it’s always good to experiment. There is such a huge range of flavours across all types of chocolate - not to mention wines and spirits - so it makes sense that some pairings will work better than others.
As with any type of food pairing, when it comes to pairing chocolate with wine or spirits personal preference is the most important thing - and it can be a lot of fun finding out your new favourites! Here are some delicious suggestions to get you started.
What to pair with milk chocolate
“Textured, fuller flavoured white wines work best with milk chocolate as they help absorb the tannin in the chocolate,” explains Lynne Coyle Master of Wine and O’Briens Wine Director. An oaked Chardonnay can be a great match for milk chocolate but this Kuentz-Bas L'Alsace Mosaîk, with its rich aromas and flavours, also works really well.
You can also try: Rum. The sweetness and caramel notes of a good aged rum can pair beautifully with chocolate, balancing out any bitterness. Shop our top range of rums here.
What to pair with white chocolate
Sweet and buttery, white chocolate often has notes of cream vanilla and caramel. It works well with whites such as Chardonnay and Sauvigon Blanc but also pairs beautifully with cult Provençal rosé, Whispering Angel Rosé. “The notes of white blossom with hints of red fruits and the refreshing grapefruit finish on the palate offset the sweetness of the white chocolate,” Lynne explains.
You can also try: Gin. The herbal juniper note in gin can add depth to white chocolate, while the floral notes pair well with the sweetness. Check our extensive range of gin here.
What to pair with dark chocolate
Adelaide Hills, Australia
Shiraz is a classic, longstanding partner for dark chocolate and this flagship one from Longview in Australia is a great option. “The notes of white pepper and subtle oak are an intriguing match with the savoury notes in the chocolate whilst the tannins complement each other,” Lynne explains.
You can also try: Whiskey. If you’re a whiskey - and a chocolate - fan, you’ll be pleased to hear they can be a lovely match. An aged whiskey can soften the flavour of dark chocolate beautifully. Shop our Irish Whiskey sale here.
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