For those of you who are traditionalists, just in time for Valentine’s Day, below you will find a wine and chocolate pairing guide I used to use for my wine tastings. A heart-shaped box of chocolates, the right wine, your sweetheart – what could be better, or more romantic? Be bold and daring – try something new. How about an exotic desert wine, Madeira, Port, or Banyuls, a red sparkler, or, if your tastes are so inclined, a stout beer!
Trying to eat healthy but need that chocolate fix for Valentine’s Day? Surprise your sweetie with this delicious, light and, yes, even healthy desert, elegantly presented in a martini glass. The recipe comes from The Biggest Loser.
Chocolate Raspberry DaydreamersIngredients: 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese 3 tbsp 100% fruit raspberry spread 2 tbsp cocoa powder 4 cups fresh raspberries 2 tbsp 70% cocoa mini dark chocolate chunks Blend the cottage cheese, raspberry spread, and cocoa powder together until smooth, stopping once to scraped downt eh sides fo the blender. Chill the mixture int he frig for at least one hour. Divide the raspberries evenly among 4 martini glasses (halve the recipte if you’ll just be making it for two <3). Spoon one quarter of the cocolate mixture over the raspberries and top with a half tbsp of the chocolate chunks. 179 cal/serving Protein: 9 grams Carbohydrates: 17 grams Sugar: 17 grams Fat: 3 grams Fiber: 10 grams Sodium: 216 grams
The above recipe is adapted from “The Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook” by Devin Alexander and the Biggest Loser Experts and Cast. ©2011 Universal City Studios Productions LLLP, published by Rodale.
Wine and Chocolate Pairings
- A full bodied Zinfandel, especially late harvest, or Cabernet Sauvignon as both are made with more concentrated, ripe fruit.
- Fortified wines – Port, especially Vintage or Tawny, Banyuls, Sherry, Madeira, and Cognac
- Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate are always a hit. A favorite pairing is the Italian sparkling red wine, Brachetto D’Acqui, a wine aromatic of strawberries is perfect – and so romantic.
- Truffles are often filled with Cabernet, Merlot, Champagne, Port and Chardonnay, so it follows that these wines will complement your chocolates.
- FOR THE BEER DRINKER: Chocolate is fast becoming an item to pair with beer. A very dark beer, such as Grant’s Imperial Stout, or a Porter will be a winner if paired with your favorite chocolate dessert.
- Some dessert-style fortified orange muscat wines made in California are intensely flavored and will go well with any kind of white chocolate. The Italian Moscato D’Asti also does well with white chocolate.
- White chocolate is often combined with fruit and berries. In general semi-dry white wines with a burnt aroma and a little sweetness will complement white chocolate.
- Try a creamy chocolate cheesecake with a soft Merlot.
- Pinot Noir, a red wine that is lighter than Merlot works well with an airy chocolate mousse.
- Fortified wines with flavors of dried fruits, spices, and oak compliment milk chocolate, including Port, Madeira, and Sherry. Royal Tokaji, the famous desert wine of Hungary pairs well with milk chocolate.
- Try Sauternes, Italian Vin Santo or Piccolit, and semi-sweet white sparkling wines with milk chocolate, especially Moscato d’Asti which has just a prickle of carbonation Italians call Frizzante.
- Rich Bittersweet Chocolate with an equally rich Cabernet Sauvignon is an outstanding tasting experience. Both have a slight bitterness, a roasted flavor, and an earthy quality. The chocolate coating on your tongue take away some of the astringency of the wine. Try melding the two to make an extraordinary sauce to add to desserts.
- Chocolate desserts which have a hint of bitterness can also be enjoyed with young red wines, wines of the Loire Valley, and Beaujolais.
- The grape variety Pedro Ximenez is dried in the sun and mashed into a paste. Cream Sherry made with these grapes, sweet and thick and goes well with white chocolate.