I’ve been working with the owner of Chocolarte, a local Chocolate company here in the South Bay area. We’ve experimented chocolate and wine pairings. We had white chocolate ganache with strawberry pieces, white chocolate ganache with fruit reduction and chocolate milk with coffee beans. For wines we had a Chateau St. Jean “Robert Young Vineyard” Chardonnay 2007 which is a heavy, creamy flavors with vanilla, toasty oak. It was great with the white chocolate, it brigs up the flavors of the chocolate. Also we had a Torre Alta Primitivo Salento 2008. Primitivo grape is the Italian relative to Zinfandel. We found this wine with aromas and taste of vegetable and dry leaves, it was acid and bitter. It wasn’t a good pairing at all. But this wine gave us a clear idea when a wine doesn’t marry a chocolate. The next wine Roots Run Deep “Educated Guess” Cabernet Sauvignon 2007. The wine alone was very aromatic. It had aromas of dry bitter cherry, vanilla, cocoa nibs, currants and smokiness that remember me meat drips. In the palate we found dry cherry, currants, red apple skins. The wine has a long finish that when we try it with the chocolate with coffee beans, pick up the fruitiness from the wine but the finish was a pleasant bitterness from the coffee. It was the perfect pairing. The last wine was an Emilio Lustau Pedro Ximenez “San Emilio” Solera Reserva Sherry (Jerez, Spain). This Sherry has aroma of prunes, figs, cherries, and nuts cooked on brandy and orange ring. It is a classic pairing with chocolate. This paring bring up the flavors from the Sherry, white chocolate and chocolate milk.
This was a starting point in paring wine and chocolate. We’ll try different varieties and producers to find unlimited combinations of wine and chocolate. Stay tuned!