Why do wine and chocolate go together?
Pairing wine and chocolate can create some of the most mouth-watering taste combinations you’ll come across. Although what ‘works’ and what doesn’t can be quite subjective, it’s always fun to experiment to your heart’s content and discover the partnerships between wine and chocolate that you like best. This pairing works so well because the oils and sugars in chocolate – whether white, milk or dark – are contrasted by (and sometimes complemented by) the flavours in the wine. Chocolate and wine also share certain ingredients – for example, chocolate also contains tannins, especially dark chocolate. In addition, cocoa beans are fermented too, like wine, in order to soften their flavours.
What kind of wine goes well with chocolate?
This can depend on several factors – in particular, how much of a sweet tooth you have. Some people prefer their wines to be sweeter than their chocolate – but others prefer the wine to contrast with the sweetness and give them a whole other set of flavours to experience. As with many things in life, it’s all about experimentation and having an open mind to find the best wine and chocolate pairings for you.
Is dark chocolate good with wine?
Yes, dark chocolate shares a number of flavour elements with wine (known as polyphenols) and the bitterness of it can provide a great balance to a well-chosen wine.
Red wines with fresh acidity can work well, as can sweeter and fortified wines such as Port. Check the cocoa percentage of your chocolate and choose wines with more intense flavours and less sugar, the more cocoa content your chocolate has.
What wine goes with white chocolate?
White chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa, but it does still have cocoa butter, sugar and milk in. It is usually light and creamy, so wines that are also light and sweet can cut through the chocolate and cleanse the palate – some Rieslings, for example, could work very well. Pinot Noir can also work – the creamy chocolate can really enhance the fruit flavours of the wine – similar to the way strawberries and cream work so well together as a dessert.
Our chocolate and wine recommendations
White wine and chocolate
- Lychgate Bacchus with Chilli Dark Chocolate – The Goupie chocolate base is brought to life with Cayenne chilli pepper before it’s fully enrobed in 54% Belgian chocolate. It provides a perfect partnership with the freshness of our wine and its delicious sweet finish.
- Blanc de Blancs with Lemon Dark Chocolate – this wine has lots of yellow fruit character, floral notes, and wonderful yeasty undertones which pair very well with the fresh citrus flavours of lemon chocolate, and also provide an exquisite contrast to the dark cocoa.
- Blanc de Noirs with Orange Dark Chocolate – with notes of honey and pear and a good balance of sweetness and acidity, this wine will be able to stand up to the rich citrus flavours of the dark orange chocolate. Or try this wine with Charbonnel Milk Sea Salt Caramel Truffles – our award-winning wine marries perfectly with the truly divine and indulgent caramel truffles with their silky-smooth centres.
Rosé / sparkling wines and chocolate
- Eighteen Acre Rosé with Sparkling Rosé Chocolates – these chocolates are made using a milk chocolate and fresh cream ganache, carefully blended with the sparkling wine, resulting in a deliciously fruity taste experience. You’ll find the ripe strawberry and red cherry flavours of the wine with its sweet-spice finish in every truffle – each one dipped in either milk or dark chocolate and hand-decorated.
- Bolney Bubbly with Charbonnel Pistachio Chocolate Truffles – these truffles are made from luscious white chocolate with a creamy Pistachio centre, whilst our wine is delicate and well balanced, finishing with a soft fresh hint of sweetness so it doesn’t overwhelm the chocolates.
- Bolney Rosso Vermouth with Charbonnel Dark Chocolate Mint Thins – we think that the bitter character of the thins marries really well with the special blend of herbs and spices in our Vermouth.
- Bolney Estate Gin with Bolney Gin Truffles – our Gin has a vibrant freshness from the lemon oil and fennel it’s made with, delicately balanced with hints of bay and juniper – what could be better than enjoying this satisfying spirit enrobed in hand-dipped chocolate?
Should you pair wine with alcoholic chocolates?
Most chocolates which contain alcohol use either champagne or liqueurs – Grand Marnier, Dubonnet, etc. For the stronger liqueurs, wine may not be the best choice of accompanying drink. However, for lighter, more aromatic alcohol chocolates like Bolney’s Gin Truffles, you can drink the spirit itself alongside, to give a sweet twist to one of the nation’s most popular spirits.
Which wines don’t pair well with chocolates?
Dry red wines tend not to work so well with chocolate – it can cause an excess of tannins, especially with darker chocolates. But the best combination is really the one which gives you the most pleasure – there are no right or wrong answers if you enjoy it!
Best chocolate and wine gifts
We offer a range of unique gifts and seasonal treat ideas, including our Luxury Wine and Chocolate Gift Box, our Christmas Wine and Chocolate set, and our Gin and Chocolate Box – as well as many more savoury treats, vouchers, experiences and hampers.