Wine and chocolate pairings, like true love itself, can be challenging. Mistakes can cause heartbreaking clashes, but when it works—Romeo and Juliet, Jay and Bey, Batman and Robin—the love affair between wine and chocolate stands up to any of history’s most storied romances. Just in time for Valentine’s Day menu planning, here are some ideas for pairings to love.
This pairing works for two great reasons. Dark chocolate, with its high proportion of cacao, needs a wine with full body, intense flavor, and a smidge of sweetness. Enter this delectable dessert wine from Trentadue Winery in California. Made from sustainably farmed Merlot grapes this wine borrows from the rich tradition of port-making in that neutral grape spirit is added during the fermentation process to help “trap” the natural sugars, resulting in a wine sweet enough to stand up to chocolate truffles. Just before bottling, a tiny bit of natural chocolate extract is added to the final blend, creating a richly nuanced delight that sings alongside truffles.
Bubbly and bright, with just the right amount of funk, this biodynamic, vegan, and 100% natural Zweigelt rosé has a great texture that creates a beautiful contrast with silky, scintillating chocolate mousse. The warm, ripe red fruit red fruit notes and floral notes in the wine also accent the natural sweetness of the chocolate. Swoon!
Fluffy, moist, irresistible—chocolate cake the very definition of luxurious! This late-harvest Vidal Blanc is filled with intense, vibrant notes of lychee, peach, and apple blossom, and just sweet enough to complement the cake and luscious frosting. This combination is-chicka-bow-wow on the plate and in the glass!
We’ve said it before—bubbles pair with just about everything, and this is no exception. Hints of almond, white flowers, and hints of pear, this organic blend of Auxerrois and Chardonnay from one of the world’s smallest winemaking region is a dreamy partner for decadent chocolate tart. Notes of toasted French bread accent the crispness of the tart shell, while the texture and fruit lift the creaminess of the chocolate, making it dance across the palate.
Aw yeah, this combo is packed with as much flavor as it is with romance. Bright, mouthwatering strawberries contrast the sweet, smooth, and tantalizing chocolate. Bursting with energy, this Sangiovese is light-hearted and meant to drink chilled, the grapes for this wine are fermented whole and gently pressed. In fact, the name “Love You Bunches” is a reference to this process. Aged in barrel for 30 months and in bottle for 6 months, the wine is irresistibly bright and zippy, leaning closer to a rose than a red in character, with notes of crunchy red berries, ruby grapefruit, and tangerine flowers backed by flexible, supple, sexy tannins.