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Pairing wine and chocolate
the key rules!


What if we told you that opening a bottle of sparkling wine to serve with a chocolate dessert wasn’t actually the best idea? Some marriages work better than others, and we're going to share the secrets to a perfect pairing !


Pairing wine and chocolate: the key rules!

Why do we pair fizz with chocolate ?

Quite simply, it's a custom that dates back to the late 17th century. At that time, white sparkling wines were very sweet (even more than some of today’s sweet white wines) and chocolate was very bitter, as the recipe had not yet been perfected. These two polar-opposite flavours balanced each other well, and ever since then we have continued to serve them together. You may not know this, but sparkling wines are white wines that are given their fizz through the addition of carbon dioxide. The dry quality of the white wine covers up the sweetness of chocolate desserts, which is a real shame.

So, what wine should you drink with a great box of chocolates ?

To ensure a good pairing, the first thing to find out is the cocoa content of your chocolate treats. The lower the content, the better it will work with sweet wines. But for those with 70% cocoa and above, you can choose a full-bodied red wine, such as a Merlot or Syrah, the acidity of which will reveal all the cocoa aromas. When you get to 80% and above, opt for a slightly softer red wine, but avoid overly sweet or dessert wines, which should be saved for your cheese plates. If you’re reluctant to give up your pairing of chocolate desserts with sparkling wines, a rosé will be a much better match, as it’s much more mellow and fruity. And if you swear by white wine, then go for... white chocolate! That’s easy to remember ;)

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Maison Castel’s tip

Cocoa, like wine, contains tannins. The darker it is, the more it has: check its cocoa content when choosing your wine, whether in contrast or in harmony!

More pairings


An impromptu feast of bruschetta and savoury toasts

An impromptu feast of bruschetta and savoury toasts


Pinot Noir
Pairing wine and chocolate: the key rules!

Pairing wine and chocolate
the key rules!


Syrah
We’re going green.... And red!

We’re going green...
And red!


Merlot
Claws at the ready.... Get cracking!

Claws at the ready...
Get cracking!


AOC Chablis