Chocolate is one of the most sensual foods out there in the world. And if you were to say it were to have a liquid counterpart, wine would be it. But with so many wines and so many chocolates out there, pairing them can be harder than one might imagine.
One great combination is Zinfandel and dark chocolate. The medium to dark berries coupled with a bit of spice / pepper (you don’t want too much pepper) are natural compliments to the almost bitter dark chocolate. Pick your Zins from well-known Zinfandel regions, such as Dy Creek, Paso Robles or Lodi. Remember to not have too much pepper on the tongue or the taste of the chocolate will be muted.
When picking out a dark chocolate, try to stay near or above 70%. Too light and the intensity of the chocolate won’t match the strength of the wine. Good friend, and fellow blogger, Kelly Staples of dogs2cents.com (a great read about the life of Lucy in wine country), recently paired a Pezzi King Zinfandel from Dry Creek with blueberries and dark chocolate. The fruit forwardness of the wine and the ample tannins mixed extremely well with both the fruit and the chocolate. Much like a decanter is used to amplify the wine’s notes, so to does the chocolate. A simply Zin turned extraordinary with the help of one extra component.
Have you tried Zinfandel and Dark Chocolate? If you, what’s your take on it? I’d love to hear from you on either the comments here or through twitter @haydnadams.
Haydn Adams is the author of the book, Wineries Beyond Napa Valley: Dry Creek and Alexander Valley, an insider’s tasting guide to the hidden gems region. He also contributes to the Beyond Napa Valley Wine Blog, writes for vinvillage.com, and can be found roaming the hills of Sonoma County (and at times, Napa Valley) looking for the next hidden gems. You can contact him at email@example.com.