If you choose the right wine to complement the right chocolate it can be a remarkable pairing opportunity. Dark or bittersweet chocolates, with higher cacao content (by definition dark chocolate contains a minimum of 35% cocoa solids) call for a wine that offers a fuller body, robust aromas and intense flavor sketches with bold fruit and perhaps its own hint of indigenous chocolatey nuances. Zinfandels with their dense fruit, energetic spice and often higher alcohol levels enjoy a long legacy of handling dark chocolate delights exceptionally well.
The bold structure of Cabernet Sauvignon and full-bodied profile and noticeably defined tannin makes a natural pairing for the decidedly drier darker chocolate. Also try a Pinot Noir or a Merlot to pair with dark chocolate. Banyuls, a fortified favorite from Southern France, is, we think, the ultimate in wine and dark chocolate combinations. Full-bodied flavors with their own chocolate nuances, thanks to the Grenache grapes, mirror the palate textures of dark chocolate and produce a sensational pairing that’s hard to beat. Fortified wines also work well, for example, a Tawny or Vintage Port with a dark chocolate dessert or truffle.