If you’re looking for a sweet treat for your Valentine, look no further because our sommelier is sharing the best wine and chocolate pairings!
Pairing wines with chocolate is just as versatile as pairing wines with a meal. There’s a lot to consider and much more complex than all red wine pairs with milk chocolate. Today I have sent you three different wines and three different chocolates. While the wines come from around the world, all chocolates are from women-run chocolatiers in Toronto.
When pairing Champagne, there’s a lot to consider. How sweet is it? How bubbly? The wine’s overall structure. Plus, you get the opportunity to play with the texture when pairing with Champagne to make a more dynamic pairing. Today as an example, I’ve brought you Cheurlin Brut Spéciale Champagne paired with the Romance and Icewine chocolates by Odile Chocolat. I selected two different flavours to pair with today, and I think that the flavours of each will bring out something different about the wine and play upon the bubble nature of this wine style. Cheurlin is a family-run winery, except NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas. Joining the Champagne house in 2016, as an owner, he was a big part of making the Brut Spéciale. For our chocolates by Odile Chocolat, run by Odile Chatelain, her background in chocolate also comes from a family connection.
There should be aromas of apple pastry, sugared citrus, and booming floral that resonates from the glass. On the palate, the wine is well textured with a round texture. Now taste the Romance Chocolate; its flavour is Champagne, black pepper, rose petals. The chocolate brings similar notes and draws out more of the wine’s elegance.
When pairing your Cabernet Sauvignon, you should consider the heaviness. Pair heavy with heavy and light with light. If your chocolate isn’t sweet, your wine shouldn’t be too. Darker chocolates can go with bolder wines that are less sweet in style. I’ve brought the 2019 ‘S’ by Signorello Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa, made by the fantastic winemaker Priyanka French, paired with chocolates by Sophia Patisserie and Chocolate, a new boutique pastry shop in Toronto by Shopia Andrade. Give a smell and a taste to the wine. The S by Signoriello is very vibrant with violets, red fruits, cedar, and spice notes. On the palate, the wine has an abundance of berry notes, and a shows savoury side. Paired with the wine, I have two flavours by Sophia, a Smoked Chocolate Truffle and a Berry Chocolate Truffle. The smoked truffle takes the wine in a more savoury direction, and the Berry Truffle picks up on the fruit notes in the wine and expands them.
A Canadian specialty Icewine is made from grapes that freeze on the vine. The process of turning them into wine creates a beverage with an outstanding balance of sweetness and acidity. I like to match the sweetness of icewine with spiced chocolate. Use sweetness and spice to play up on the flavours in the wine, but above all, the wine shouldn’t be sweeter than the chocolate. Today we have the Malivoire 2018 Gewürztraminer Icewine made by winemaker Shiraz Mottiar. And paired with chocolates by Mary & Brigadeiro. Give the wine a try; there are honey, pear, apricot, and spice notes. Its palate is rich but lively with notes of baked apple, candied tropical fruits, mango and ginger. We have the Mulled Wine and Mexican Spice chocolates by MaryMary’sriane Oliveira to pair. Each flavour ties in her culture and the life she has experienced. The mulled wine chocolate is a classic pairing that melds perfectly with the wine. Give it a try. But the Mexican spice chocolate is where we see a dynamic change in the chocolate bringing out a different side of the wine in the glass, with that combination of sweetness and spice.