Best Easter Chocolate And Wine Pairings
Simply put, chocolate is delicious; wine is delicious; eating chocolate while drinking wine is doubly delicious. This Easter, give your tastebuds a double-treat with our guide to getting the best from your bunny bounty, packed with top Easter chocolate and wine pairing tips!
Matching wine with chocolate is all about balance. While there are several factors to consider, finding the right balance needn’t be complicated; simply look at the most obvious characters of both the wine and the chocolate – are they rich, light, full-flavoured, bitter, dry or sweet?
Wine & Chocolate Pairing
Here’s a brief overview to help you find your new favourite matches.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Tawny Port, Shiraz and Zinfandel.
Muscat, Tokay and aged Sparkling Reds.
Gewurtztraminer, semi-dry Sparkling whites, Moscato and aged-harvest Riesling.
Bittersweet Or Dark Chocolate And Wine Pairings
What wines pair with dark chocolate? Well, dark chocolates with 70% to 100% cacao are the most intense – they’re richly flavoured and feature a combination of roasted, fruity, earthy, woody, ashy or nutty notes. As such, wines that are good matches to bittersweet styles will also match with semi-sweet chocolate.
With such intense flavours, dark and bittersweet chocolates usually call for bolder, denser and fuller-bodied red wines that have more concentrated fruit notes. They’re also delicious served with a vintage Tawny Port, so don’t overlook that potential pairing.
If there was to be one generic chocolate and wine suggestion however it would be Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate. Because Cabernet Sauvignon is generally full-bodied, it needs to be matched with intense flavours, so turning up the cocoa content in the chocolate is key.
The fruit intensity and medium to full bodied nature of Shiraz also make for a rich and mouth-filling combination with dark chocolate. The key is starting with a chocolate with over 50% cocoa content, and matching the general fruit flavours of the wine to a complementary chocolate flavour.
Grenache matches well with heavier chocolates as it has good, sweet fruit weight which can balance out the bitterness of dark chocolate. Whatever you choose, you’re in for a darkly satisfying treat!
Suggested varietal matches: Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Tawny Port, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.
Milk Chocolate And Wine Pairings
Milk chocolate has a smaller percentage of cacao and a higher percentage of sugar. This, plus its milk content, means it’s milder, and sweeter with flavours that often include brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, honey, caramel, milk, cream, with nutty and/or malt characters also sometimes present.
So what wine goes well with milk chocolate? As a rule, milk chocolate pairs nicely with lighter, fruitier and lower alcohol reds. Your best bet however is to try a fortified wine such as Muscat or Tokay – its butterscotch, toffee and nutty nuances highlight milk chocolate’s nutty and caramel notes and enhance the overall flavour.
If you’re partial to aged Sparkling reds, their complex savoury characters make them perfect for desserts and flavoured chocolates.
Suggested varietal matches: Muscat or Tokay, and aged Sparkling reds.
White Chocolate And Wine Pairings
Even though it is referred to as white chocolate, this style technically isn’t a true chocolate as it doesn’t include cocoa, but cocoa butter, sugar and milk solids. Its sweet flavours of cream, milk, honey, vanilla, caramel or fruit makes it quite a versatile pair with wine.
A delicious match is Australian Moscato which tends to be light, aromatic and fruity, often with a slight spritz that lifts and refreshes the palate. The apricot, stonefruit and lychee flavours lend themselves to finer lighter chocolate, white chocolate and mousses.
Other good matches include late-harvest Riesling, which has an exotic sweetness that complements the vanilla, caramel and honey flavours of white chocolate, while Gewürztraminer has a slight sweetness plus typical lychee fruit that also makes it a favourite.
Suggested varietal matches: Semi-dry Sparkling whites, Gewürztraminer, Moscato, and Late-harvest Riesling.
Easter Egg And Wine Pairings
It isn’t Easter of course without Easter eggs or speciality chocs, and unsurprisingly they also make an extra delicious treat with the right wine match. Here are some of our Tasting Panel favourites, courtesy of co-Chair Adam Walls!
Pair with Topaque
Pair with Moscato
Pair with a Barossa Shiraz
Crème egg and Caramello
Pair with liqueur Muscat
Pair with Grenache
Ferraro Rocher and Lindt Hazelnut – pair with liqueur Tawny
Experiment With Easter Chocolate And Wine Flavours
As each and every one of us has a unique palate, likes and dislikes, the only proven way to find your favourite chocolate and wine match is to experiment… and we all know what a tough job that will be!
How about sea salt caramel with Prosecco, dark raspberry with a Cabernet Sauvignon, dark orange with a Botrytis Semillon, or dark chilli with a Cabernet Merlot? Treat it like your very own Easter egg hunt and get exploring…
Extra Easter Chocolate Indulgence
If you’re looking to indulge someone special, score some brownie points (par the pun), or just want to treat yourself to some home-made chocolatey goodness, why not try out a few Selector recipes, like Lyndey Milan's chocolate and raspberry brownies, this classic Chocolate Parfait recipe, a simple chocolate sour cream cake with coffee and spiced dates recipe or a chocolate fondant with mandarin and ice-cream?
Honestly, we’re full from just composing this article, especially alongside its companion piece, the best Easter food and wine pairings – make sure to have a read, to take your Easter feasting to the next level.
Or, if you’re looking for year-round guides on the best food and wine pairings, make sure to view our other great food and wine pairing guides. And from the Wine Selectors family to yours, have a safe, happy and satisfying Easter long weekend!