When looking to pair a wine with chocolate...

When pairing a wine with chocolate - the wine should be at least as sweet, if not a touch sweeter, than the chocolate / dessert you are serving it with. Otherwise, the taste may quickly turn towards sour notes. Just as you do with other cuisine - match lighter, more elegant flavoured chocolates with lighter-bodied wines; likewise, the stronger, more intense and bitter the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be. For example, a bittersweet chocolate tends to pair well with an intense, full-flavoured Amarone or a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon.
• White Chocolate Wine Suggestions:
White chocolate tends to be more mellow and buttery in flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a Moscato D’Asti, from Italy’s Piedmont region offers a hint of carbonation, or an Orange Muscat. The Moscato D’Asti will pick up the creaminess of the chocolate and the Orange Muscat will pick up any fruit tones present.
• Milk Chocolate Wine Suggestions:
Pinot Noir or a lighter-bodied Merlot will complement softer, milk chocolates, a creamy chocolate mousse or chocolate accented cheesecake. Plus a light style Tawny Port serve slightly chilled will pair well with mild milk chocolates.
• Dark Chocolate Wine Suggestions:
Dark or bittersweet chocolates need a wine that offers a roasted, slightly bitter flavour itself, with perhaps a hint of its own chocolate notes. Amarone wine and quality, full-bodied Ports have a history of perfecting the dark chocolate match, resulting in an unparalleled tasting combination.
The following matches are only suggestions, guidelines and starting points - enjoy the journey.

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White Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the white chocolate and its mellow, buttery-creamy texture and flavour, making it an ideal candidate for a Moscato D’Asti, as it offers a hint of refreshing carbonation. The Moscato D’Asti or a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco will pick up the creaminess of the white chocolate and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with an Italian Moscato D’Asti DOCG, Asti, a 'Sweeter Style' Prosecco or even a Cava, Sekt or a quality Cremant style sparkling wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult to pair, as most red wines with tannins will clash or over power the delicate White Chocolate.

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Milk Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the milk chocolate and its softer bitter sweet flavours and medium creamy texture, making it an ideal candidate for a Tawny Port, as it offers characters of dried fruits and subtle nutty notes. The Tawny Port will pick up the subtle creamy notes of the milk chocolate and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Difficult to match as most white wines will not be strong enough to balance out the milk chocolate notes.
• Red Wine: Slightly difficult to match as many dry red wines can clash or over power the milk chocolate - but with this chocolate a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled Tawny Port (13-14°C).

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Tiramisu:

You are looking to complement the tiramisu chocolate and its subtle coffee and liquor flavours and the combination of sponge and cream texture, making it an ideal for a 20yr Old Tawny Port, as it offers characters of dry fruits and nuts, with subtle coffee notes. The 20yr Tawny Port will pick up the slightly coffee notes of the chocolate cream and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the chocolate, brandy and coffee notes.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, rich red wines will overpower - but with a Tiramisu a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled 20yr or 30yr old Tawny Port, an aged Marsala, also a Pedro Ximénez.

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Chocolate Pudding:

You are looking to complement the dark chocolate pudding and its dark, sweet flavours and sponge and creamy texture, making it an ideal candidate for an aged Tawny Port, as it offers characters of dry fruits and nuts, with subtle creamy notes. The aged Tawny Port will pick up the slightly bitter, creamy notes of the dark chocolate sauce and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the dark chocolate pudding.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, rich red wines can pair quite well - but with this Chocolate Pudding a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled quality Tawny Port, LBV Port, also a Pedro Ximénez.

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Double Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the double chocolate cake and its rich, sweeter chocolate flavours and the soft sticky texture & sauce or icing, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Marsala, as it offers dried dates, sweet prunes and hazelnut on the palate. The Marsala will balance the much sweeter, sticky notes of the double chocolate cake, and in the thick, sweet icing, plus releasing the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be very difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the double chocolate flavours.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, heavy red wine can pair - but with this Double Chocolate Cake a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled Marsala (10-12°C), also a LBV Port and a quality Tawny Port.

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Bitter Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the bitter chocolate and its intense flavours and the hard / firm texture, making it an ideal for a full flavoured, fruit driven Port, as it offers ripe, intense dark berry fruits with subtle nut notes. The LBV Port will pick up the bitter notes of the balance, smooth out the flavours and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be very difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the bitter, dark chocolate notes.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, sweeter red wine can pair (e.g. Amarone, Cabernet Sauvignon) - but with this Bitter Dark Chocolate a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled LBV or Vintage Port, also a quality Pedro Ximénez & Madeira.

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Berry Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the berry chocolate and its subtle bitter sweet flavours and medium firm texture, making it an ideal candidate for a Ruby Port, as it offers refreshing sweet fruit and nut characters. The Ruby Port will pick up the fruit notes of the strawberry chocolate and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and then cleanse the palate.
• White Wine: Look to pair with the berry based Chocolate a sweeter style sparkling Rosé wine, or classic-style late harvest dessert wine.
• Red Wine: Difficult as most red wines will over power the berry chocolate - but a good pairing is a slightly chilled Ruby Port (8-10°C) or Lambrusco.

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Fruit & Nut Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the fruit & nut chocolate and its sweet fruit flavours and medium creamy, nutty texture, making it an ideal candidate for a rich liqueur muscat, as it offers characters of dark fruits and rich texture. The Liqueur Muscat will pick up the sweeter notes of the raisin and nuts in the chocolate and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content & giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be difficult to balance the fruit & nut chocolate notes - though a semi-sweet sparkling Rosé can pair.
• Red Wine: Slightly difficult to pair as heavy dry red wines can overpower - but with this Fruit & Nut Chocolate a good pairing is a slightly chilled Liqueur Muscat or 10yr Old Port.

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Coffee & Hazelnut Chocolate:

You are looking to complement the coffee chocolate and its roasted, bitter coffee flavours and medium to hard texture, making it an ideal candidate for a Reserve Tawny Port, as it offers characters of dry fruits and nuts, with rich creamy notes. The Reserve Tawny Port will pick up the slightly bitter, coffee notes of the darker chocolate and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be very difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the coffee chocolate notes.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, rich red wines can pair quite well - but with Coffee Chocolate a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled Reserve Tawny Port, Oloroso Sherry, an aged Marsala, also a Pedro Ximénez.

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Chocolate Brownie & Ice-Cream:

You are looking to complement the chocolate brownie, ice-cream with sauce flavours and sticky texture, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Pedro Ximénez, as it offers dried figs, raisins, molasses, sweet plums and hazelnut on the palate. Pedro Ximénez will balance the sticky, rich intensity of the chocolate brownie, and the ice-cream, plus releasing the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be very difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the chocolate and sauce.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, rich red wine can pair - but with this Chocolate Brownie a perfect pairing is with a slightly chilled Pedro Ximénez or Marsala (10-12°C), also a quality Tawny Port.

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70 - 75% Cocoa:

You are looking to complement the 70-75% cocoa chocolate and its rich bitter cocoa flavours and the firm texture, making it an ideal candidate for a Vintage Port, as it offers characters of black fruits, cedar and a rich palate weight. The Vintage Port will pick up the sweeter notes of the 70-75% cocoa chocolate and release the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.

• White Wine: Can be very difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the bitter cocoa chocolate notes.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, heavy red wine can pair - but with this 70-75% Cocoa Chocolate a perfect pairing is with a *slightly chilled Vintage Port, also a Pedro Ximénez.

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80 - 85% Cacao:

You are looking to complement the 80-85% cacao and its intense bitter cocoa chocolate flavours and the firm texture, making it an ideal candidate for a quality Amarone wine, as it offers characters of dark currants, blackberries, sweet almonds and vanilla on the palate. The Amarone wine will balance out the bitter intensity of the 80-85% cacao chocolate, plus releasing the hidden flavours in the sugar/fat content and giving a smooth finish.
• White Wine: Can be very difficult to match as most white / dessert wines will not be strong enough to balance the 80-85% cacao chocolate.
• Red Wine: A full bodied, heavy red wine can pair - but with this 80-85% cacao a perfect pairing is with a quality Amarone wine, a slightly chilled Pedro Ximénez (10-12°C), or an LBV or Vintage Port.