Organic Wine & Chocolate Pairing
Organic wine and chocolate are great to taste together with friends or for romantic occasions. Both lend themselves to a similar tasting process and both have complex flavors and notes. Wine and chocolate tasting can be a great group activity or a wonderful date idea for a romantic learning experience! Here are a few tips that can help you get the most out of your pairing.
Before you start:
- Find organic chocolates whenever possible, also look for fair trade chocolates.
- Sweeter wines, such as our Frey Dessertage Port or Late Harvest Zinfandel, tend to pair better with chocolates.
- White chocolate and creamy milk chocolate pair better with lighter wines; dark chocolate pairs well with rich, full-bodied wines.
- Don’t try more than six pairings at a time to avoid overwhelming your taste buds and missing subtle nuances in flavor and texture.
- Serve chocolate and red wines at room temperature (65-72 F).
- Break or cut chocolate into 1/4 inch x 1/4 inch pieces and display next to the bottle of wine. You can use the chocolate wrapper as a label.
- Prepare a pitcher of room temperature drinking water and unsalted crackers or plain bread to cleanse your palate between pairings.
- You can find tasting wheels for both chocolate and wine online. They can help you come up with words to describe what you are tasting.
- Have some paper and pens available for tasters to take notes.
Now you are ready to taste:
- We recommend taking notes and holding back on commentary until everyone has had a chance to develop their impressions. You can compare notes between tastes; this also allows a nice break to cleanse your palate with water or crackers.
- Start with white or milk chocolate and move to darker chocolates. With dark chocolates, go from the lowest to the highest percentage cacao.
- Pour a little wine into the glass. Swirl the glass and notice the color and viscosity (thickness) of the wine.
- Smell the wine, pay attention to the aromas.
- Sip the wine and swirl it around in your mouth. Notice the flavor, the texture and the length of the flavor sensation.
- Take a piece of Chocolate and let it sit on your tongue until it starts to melt. Note the flavor and texture.
- Finally, take another sip of wine, swirl in your mouth with the chocolate and notice how the flavor of the wine differs when paired with chocolate.
Our Picks for Best Frey Wines to pair with Chocolate:
- 2007 Late Harvest Zinfandel – Milk Chocolate or dark up to 50% cacao.
- 2002 Dessertage Port – Dark Chocolate 60% or higher
- 2008 Zinfandel – Milk Chocolate or dark up to 60%.
- 2008 Biodynamic Chardonnay – White or light milk chocolate.