Wine is good, chocolate is also good, so putting the two together should be great, right? Well… not always, not exactly – but definitely worth a try!
To some people’s palates, dark chocolate and red wine are a marriage made in Heaven – if you are one of those lucky people, then Valentines Day must be your Nirvana! If not, then sometimes just a little more info about how to pair wine with chocolate might help. As many people know, the reason it’s challenging is because the sugar in the chocolate and the acidity/tannins in most wines, just naturally don’t tend to complement each other. Choosing less-acidic, less tannic wines, or chocolate that’s not as sweet, can help.
And if that sounds like too much work, we can recommend a couple of wineries in our local region that feature chocolate as part of the tasting experience, along with one of our favorite local chocolate shops in Los Gatos:
Fleur de Cocoa in downtown Los Gatos makes a pink peppercorn chocolate that’s fun to pair with certain red wines. And a 40% milk chocolate, especially one with some caramel in it can often work nicely with a Chardonnay that’s a little on the buttery side (buttery but not too oakey works best). Naturally, the easiest pairing is with a dessert wine.
MJA Vineyards in Los Gatos has a chocolate-covered Kona coffee bean that they pair with either their Merlot or one of their Napa Cabs. The bitter in the coffee bean helps cut through the sweetness of the chocolate coating, and it makes an interesting pairing. They do sell small gift-size bags of these chocolate-covered Hawaiian “energy treats” in the Tasting Room. They are addictingly good, and oh yeah, don’t forget they do contain caffeine!
Down at Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy you will find one of our area’s few locally-made dessert wines, and perhaps the most interesting one. They make Vino de Mocca, a chocolate, orange and dark red dessert wine they’ve been making for years. It also comes in chocolate cups, sold by the package from their Tasting Room, when available.
Happy Pairing! And if you’d like us to design your very own Valentine’s wine & chocolate tour, give us a call at our number down below.