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Food

The Essential Chocolate and Wine Pairing Guide

When you want a go-to guide for wine and chocolate pairing, here’s what you really need to know – simply put, chocolate is delicious; wine is delicious; eating chocolate while drinking wine is doubly delicious.

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?

Here’s a brief overview to help you find your new favourite matches.

Wine and Chocolate Pairing – an Infographic Guide

wine and chocolate pairing infographic guide

Dark/Bittersweet Chocolate

Dark chocolates with 70% to 100% cacao are the most intense. They are richly flavoured and feature a combination of roasted, fruity, earthy, woody, ashy or nutty notes. Wines that are good matches to bittersweet styles will also match with semisweet chocolate.

With 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.

Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate usually work well together, and if there was to be one generic chocolate and wine suggestion, it would be this one. 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 make for a rich and mouth-filling combination. 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 and is low in tannins which can balance out the bitterness of dark chocolate.

Suggested varietal matches: Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Tawny Port, Shiraz, and Zinfandel

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate has a smaller percentage of cacao and a higher percentage of sugar. This factor, plus the milk content means it’s milder, and sweeter with flavours including brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, honey, caramel, milk, cream, nutty and/or malt.

Milk chocolate pairs nicely with lighter, fruiter and lower alcohol reds or 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, Tokay, and aged Sparkling reds.

White Chocolate

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 tend to be light aromatic and fruity and often have a slight spritz that lifts and refreshes the palate. The apricot, stonefruit and lychee flavours lend them to finer lighter chocolate, white chocolate and mousses. Late-harvest Riesling 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, Gewurtztraminer, Moscato, and Late-harvest Riesling.

Discover Your Favourites

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, dark orange with a Botrytis Semillon, or dark chilli with a Cabernet Merlot?

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 homemade chocolatey goodness, here are some guaranteed winning Selector recipes you’ll absolutely adore.

Lyndey Milan's chocolate and raspberry brownies

Chocolate Parfait Recipe

Simple chocolate sour cream cake with coffee and spiced dates recipe

Chocolate fondant with mandarin and Ice-cream recipe

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Food
What grows together, goes together Landfall Beef and Josef Chromy Wines
Words by Paul Diamond on 3 Aug 2017
We travel to Tasmania to lunch with Launceston neighbours Landfall Beef and Josef Chromy Wines and discover the old adage of what grows together, goes together is still very relevant. Long before we started digging things out of the ground, our economic prosperity as ‘The Lucky Country’, came from agriculture, livestock in particular. From the mid 1800s and for most of the 1900s, we were literally ‘riding on the sheep’s back’ as we matured and developed into what we are today. Our identity, what we eat, drink and appreciate, comes from this industry and to help celebrate what is recognised as the best produce in the world, Selector has partnered with Australian Beef & Lamb to bring you the stories of some selected producers across the country. Each article will be based in one of our great wine regions and feature a prominent wine producer meeting a livestock producer over lunch and a glass of wine. By sharing the fruits of these agricultural pursuits, we hope you gain a greater appreciation of the best food and wine we produce and the regions that bind them together. We start our series in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley with the Archer family, renowned for their lamb production, and Josef Chromy OAM, who, after developing some of Tasmania’s most significant wineries, established his own at the age of 76. The Archer Family
The Archer family have been farming their property, ‘Landfall’, in Northern Tasmania’s Tamar Valley for five generations. Arriving in 1876, brothers Gerald and Hedly Archer started cropping and raising livestock. The other five Archer brothers moved to Queensland to farm and their heirs, like their Tasmanian cousins, have remained on the land, raising their families and livestock. Today, the Tasmanian Archers specialise in prime lamb. Their lives are intimately connected to the Tamar Valley, their property, their animals and as the sixth generation of Archers grow up, they will learn and understand the true meaning of paddock to plate; breeding, birthing, raising, selling and marketing their animals. The Archers know the value of their labour and have opened Landfall Farm Fresh , a direct-to-customer butcher shop in Launceston that allows customers to appreciate the highest quality lamb that is raised just minutes from the shop. Pastoral Connections
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Recipe:  Get Nick Raitt's Lamb Shoulder with the perfect suace and salt-baked celerieac recipe Wine: Explore Josef Chromy Wines Tasmania: The explore the  best Tasmanian cellar doors with in our winery guide
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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