How to Pair Chocolate and Wine Like a Pro

At Taylors Cellar Door, we offer an amazing chocolate and wine tasting experience. Wine and chocolate is not always easy to pair but when you get it right, it can be a match made in heaven. This wonderfully decadent experience is the ‘chocoholics’ dream tasting! A selection of four of our award winning wines are matched to individual tablets of Cuvée chocolate in this tasting flight. We definitely recommend trying this popular tasting experience next time you visit us in the Clare Valley. To tempt your taste buds in the meantime we’ve put together this guide to pairing chocolate and wine at home this Easter.

OUR GO-TO CHOCOLATE AND WINE DUOS

Generally as a rule Merlot and Shiraz are soft, lighter tannic wines so they’re a good match with milk chocolate which is less bitter. Cabernet on the other hand is a more tannic wine, so it matches very well with dark chocolate. Here are some of our favourite wine and chocolate pairings for the ultimate indulgence to try at home:

Taylors Estate Pinot Noir Rosé with White Chocolate
This wine is medium bodied with fresh and delicate flavours of strawberry and raspberry fruit with hints of mineral talc. The flavour of the white chocolate balances beautifully with the delicate floral and red berry fruit notes of the wine.

Taylors Estate Pinot Gris with Caramel or Milk Chocolate
This wine has an elegant palate with characters of pear, apple, citrus and subtle spice. A creamy milk chocolate with hints of caramel or dried fruit balances the crisp flavours of the wine.

Taylors Estate Merlot Paired with Toffee or Fruit & Nut Milk Chocolate
This wine has ripe berry, rich fruitcake flavours and soft, velvety tannins, while French and American oak notes add dark chocolate, coffee bean and vanilla characters that will match superbly with fruit, spice and toffee flavoured milk chocolates.

Taylors Estate Shiraz with Orange Milk Chocolate
A soft and “fleshy” shiraz, this wine has a lively taste of juicy red berry fruits, plum and spice, along with subtle chocolate and savoury characters from maturing in oak, all of which are heaven when combined with orange flavoured milk chocolates.

Taylors Jaraman Shiraz with Coffee Milk Chocolate
A rich, full-bodied wine, this shiraz has intense flavours of ripe red berry fruit, violets and attractive oak characters of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate, which are heaven for the tastebuds when paired with coffee flavoured milk chocolates.

Taylors Jaraman Cabernet Sauvignon with Mint Dark Chocolate
This velvety cabernet has aromas of dark cherry and mint, plus intense flavours of cassis and blackberry fruit along with attractive oak characters of cigar box and tobacco leaf. Dark chocolates with mint flavours will bring out the mint aspect of the wine while complementing the dark fruits and tobacco leaf flavours.

TIPS FOR TASTING CHOCOLATE AND WINE

1. Prepare Yourself
Ensure the chocolate is at room temperature; never refrigerate chocolate unless in a humidity controlled wine fridge. Pour the wine and let it breathe a little prior to tasting, the contact with the oxygen will help it unfold its full potential.

2. Taste the Wine
If possible use a large glass, swirl the wine, put your nose to the glass and take in its aromas. Have a small sip, close your eyes and try to memorise everything you can taste and in what order. Cleanse your palate with a glass of water between each wine.

3. Taste the Chocolate
Break of a bite sized piece of chocolate and take in its fragrance. A darker chocolate should smell slightly acidic, while milk chocolate has a sweeter caramel undertones. Place the chocolate on your tongue and close your mouth, don’t chew it but let the chocolate melt for a moment.

4. Back to the Wine
Taste the wine again, swirl it, and smell it. Has the wine changed? Has the chocolate? Take note of how the taste structure of wine and chocolate are complementing each other. Repeat it and indulge.