Matching chocolate with wines (and other drinks)
For me, chocolate's reputation for being hard to match is undeserved; it's just a matter of remembering those features that make you want to eat it in the first place. Let's start with its sweetness. Forget Champagne & chocolate truffles. The chocolate is so sweet that it'll make the Champagne taste drier and more acidic, and battery acid isn't the most romantic of drinks! Whenever you serve a wine with anything sweet, you need to choose one that is sweeter than the food. You'll do better, then, to put your Champagne aside for aperitif drinking and serve something rich and sweet with those truffles. Port would be excellent.
|Image: Black Sheep Brewery|
|Image: Harrogate Wines|
|Image: Buon Vino|
Finally, I'd like to put in a good word for liqueurs. Many liqueurs make perfect companions for chocolate dishes. There are hazelnut, walnut and almond liqueurs, fruit ones, coffee ones and spice ones. Because our brains pay less attention to similarities of taste or aroma than they do differences, you can highlight a flavour in your dessert by serving a liqueur that is very different. So chocolate profiteroles will taste more chocolatey if you serve a glass of iced Frangelico with them; Black Forrest gâteau will taste deeply of cherries if you serve it with crème de cacao.
I'm grateful to the following, who have supplied images for this post and on whom I rely for my own chocolate matches. All of them offer UK delivery if you'd like to purchase from them.
Harrogate Wines https://www.harrogatefinewinecompany.com/
Buon Vino, Settle https://www.buonvino.co.uk/
Black Sheep Brewery, Masham https://www.blacksheepbrewery.com/shop/
Next time: Tweaking the classics