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Wine and chocolate are arguably two of the world's greatest creations; they are sumptuous, decadent and utterly delicious with numerous flavours and textures to suit all tastes. Pair these two glorious creations together and you have a truly indulgent gastronomical experience. Whether you're curled up on the sofa or treating your dinner guests, a memorable evening is guaranteed with this divine duo.
For something a bit different why not host your own wine and chocolate evening in the comfort of your home. We have put together five easy steps for you to follow and have suggested some wines to go with your chocolates
If you have a sweet tooth and love a bit of luxury in your life, we invite you to join us on our voyage of cocoa and vinous exploration.
Chocolate and wine tastings are becoming more and more popular and for good reason. Exploring the synergy of these two luscious creations is simply joyous.
You can use as many wines as you like but we suggest at least 3 to go with a milk, dark and white chocolate but don't limit yourself and try flavoured chocolates such as orange, mint or why not add a savoury salted caramel chocolate to your tasting.
Here are some suggestion on how to host your own tasting from Stéphane Sanchez, Waitrose Cellar Specialist.
Wine and Chocolate matches
Milk Chocolate Try with a dessert wine such as Campbells Rutherglen Muscat it feels like a sultana chocolate with a creamy, spicy vanilla lift!
Dark Chocolate Try with Terre di Faiano Primitivo Appassimento, it will expose the wine's concentrated red berry fruit and adds layer to the finish.
White Chocolate Goes best with young port, try Cockburn's Special Reserve Port the white chocolate will soften the intensity of the port and give it a creamy feel.
How to host your own wine and chocolate tasting.
1. Preparation: Your chocolate should be served at room temperature, whilst the wine should be served according to variety - red wines at room temperature and white or rose chilled
2. Taste the wine: Swirl the wine around in the glass before smelling it to help open up the complexities of the aromas. Swirl the wine around your mouth and if you can, draw in air at the same time. Think about the flavours, textures and how the wine develops.
3. Try the chocolate: Take a bite size piece of chocolate and like you would with wine, smell the chocolate taking in the aromas such as spice, fruit, vanilla etc. Then look at the colour and finally place the chocolate in your mouth and allow to dissolve. You should start to pick up the flavours of the chocolate
4. Now try the wine: While you still have a small amount of chocolate left in your mouth, take a sip of the wine and swirl around your mouth, making sure that the chocolate and wine blend together.
5. Repeat: Remember to cleanse you palate between tastings.
While we have looked at hosting a wine and chocolate tasting, most of us will enjoy chocolate as part of a meal. Let's explore wines that match well with chocolaty desserts. The general rule when matching wine to sweet things is that the wine should be the sweetest element. If you're a fan of dark, bitter chocolate, try the Seriously Plummy Maury .
It's decadently sweet, with an opulent liqueur cherry note and a lovely blueberry note that's wonderful with rich desserts such as tiramisu or dark chocolate fondants.