With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of you should already be planning that perfect evening with your ‘Special’ someone. What better way is there than to spend an evening dining together then cozying up to each other, with wine or champagne in hand, enjoying juicy strawberries dipped in luscious chocolate and decadent dark chocolate truffles. But how do you pair these flavours?
Do all these flavours really blend together? While we know through years of Hollywood marketing that champagne and strawberries or strawberries dipped in chocolate are matches made in heaven, how does a glass of delicate bubbly champagne compete with the strong intense flavour of dark chocolate?
Guess what? It does not. While some may wax lyrical about this audacious pairing, it is not for everyone. According to the Bubbly Professor1, “…the wine’s acidity and bitterness come forward, the delicate flavors are crushed, and what you are left with is something that reminds you of fizzy mouthwash!”
So how can you still enjoy your romantic evening with these ‘Love Foods’?
Well, if your date prefers dark chocolates, you may want to try pairing it with a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. Now if he or she prefers a darker chocolate, the fruitiness of a Pinot Noir should stand up to the bitterness. While it may not sound as romantic as strawberries, a good choice of fruit to pair with is banana, pears or cherries. And if you are game for a ‘fromage à trois’, blue cheese, gouda and parmesan will be a great compliment.
However, if milk chocolate is the thing that does it for your date, then a Pinot Noir, Light-bodied Merlot or Demi-sec (Semi-dry) champagne will be the drink of choice. This is where the classic strawberries come into play, or raspberries too. A ‘lighter’ cheese such as ricotta or brie will round out the flavours.
Now what if your date has a really sweet tooth and has a preference for white chocolate? Well, a sweet wine to match, naturally. A Moscato, Sherry or Riesling will go well with this confection. Fruit-wise, blueberries or blackberries will hold up to the sweetness of the wine and chocolate, enhancing it with their own flavour. As for the cheese, the tartness of goat’s cheese or the creaminess of camembert will balance out the sugariness.
I hope that armed with these little nuggets of information, you will be able to create an evening to remember for your date this coming Valentine’s day.
Do you have your own favourite pairings as well? If you do, share with us in the comments section below!