What beverage is more romantic than wine? A bottle can be perfectly paired to any meal and is a shared romantic experience.
From full-bodied reds to crisp, sweet whites, wine has been the choice of lovers for eons and will continue to be.
Less than a decade ago, the wine industry was turned on its head by introducing a new type of wine: chocolate wine. As two romantic favorites, chocolate and wine, make a good match. Some might even call this natural pairing a perfect match!
You can now find wines with notes of chocolate without even having to visit your favorite chocolate shop. And frankly, I could not be happier about it!
The following guide will help explain what chocolate wine is, how it is made, and help you find the perfect chocolate wine options for your next special night. I even give you an easy recipe to make your own chocolate wine!
What is Chocolate Wine?
While the original recipe dates back to the 18th century, this wine has been updated to reflect current wine trends. (And it’s made a little differently than it once was!)
There are many different varieties of chocolate wine. While the recipes differ, chocolate wine is primarily made by combining a dry wine with red, sweet wine (or a dry wine with a bit of sugar), and milk chocolate or bittersweet chocolate. In other recipes, the wine is paired with sugar and bitter chocolate.
There is a popular wine option called Cocoa di Vine. It is made from a white wine blend sourced from Argentine. Then it is mixed with rich milk chocolate and has vanilla and caramel flavor notes.
Here are 3 more options if Cocoa di Vine isn’t for you…
3 Best Chocolate Wine Options
In truth, finding a good chocolate wine can be difficult. Both wine and chocolate have nuanced flavors so mixing the two has become quite a challenge for winemakers.
But there are a few winemakers that have done it right!
Made in Washington, this chocolate wine intertwinees the aromas and flavors of black cherry, blueberry, and plum with hints of rich dark chocolate. “The combination of ruby red wine with a natural chocolate core is like a liquid chocolate truffle in a bottle.”
Made in the Netherlands, this sweet wine has the advantage of using rich chocolate and cream from Holland. It uses French Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to create a decadent, silky smooth drink. It’s delicious on its own or as the main ingredient in an array of cocktails.
Made in Swartland, South Africa, this chocolate wine has fruit marks with touches of cardamom, cumin, cloves, and black pepper. It’s textured and balanced with acidity and cocoa powdery tannins. It finishes with a linger white pepper note.
History of Chocolate Wine
Even though chocolate wine has gained popularity in recent years, the original recipe dates back to the 1700s.
Although it is similar, the recipe called for the classic pairing to be made using a dry Bordeaux, Tawny Port, Ruby Port, or Sherry wine (traditionally considered sweeter wines). Then, combined with unsweetened chocolate, a tiny amount of rice flour, and some sugar.
Then other recipes called for red wine to be mixed with cocoa powder, eggs, and milk. Or a combination of those items and an additional thickening agent, like cornstarch or flour.
Classic Chocolate Wine Recipe
The classic chocolate wine recipe is as follows:
- Boil 750 ml of red wine. Then ignite and let the alcohol burn out.
- Reduce heat and boil the liquid until its volume decreases to one-fifth.
- While the drink is still boiling, prepare the chocolate mass. This is done by adding the bitter chocolates (or bar) into a glass of hot milk, then bringing the mixture to a boil.
- Carefully pour the boiled-down wine into the chocolate milk mixture. Then stir and bring to a boil. Blend until smooth and let it cool.
Easy Chocolate Wine Recipe (Modern)
Do you want to try your hand at making this delectable sweet treat yourself? Surprise your favorite chocolate lover with this simple, delicious treat!
You can make this recipe right at home without having to ignite or boil your wine!
- Red wine – 50 ml
- Brandy – 100 ml
- Cocoa powder – 100 grams
- Fresh milk – 100 ml
- Two egg yolks
- Cinnamon (optional)
1. Combine the red wine and brandy. Add cinnamon if using.
2. Next, whisk together the cocoa, milk, and egg yolks in a separate container.
3. Mix wine and milk mixture, blending until smooth.
4. Serve chilled.
Chocolate Pairing With Wine
Suppose chocolate wine sounds too outrageous for you. Or, you want to incorporate more chocolate and wine into your evening. The following are excellent wine pairings for you to try.
After all, what is more, romantic and pleasurable for your taste buds than pairing wine with bites of decadent chocolate?
When pairing different wines to sugary, velvety chocolate there, there are general “rules” to follow:
- Choose soft, “juicy” wine rather than dry ones
- Go with sweeter, fruit-forward wines
- Pair lighter chocolates with a lighter wine, and vice versa
- Taste from light wines and chocolate to darker wines and chocolate
- If your chocolate has added flavors, like caramel or fruit, consider how they will taste with your wine selections
Here are some traditionally fine wine and chocolate pairings:
What Wine Does White Chocolate Pair With?
White chocolate pairs well sweet white wines or late harvest wines, like Cream Sherry, Ice Wine, Moscato d’Asti, Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Sweet Rose.
White chocolate features buttery flavors from cocoa butter, sugar, and milk. It can also have notes of honey and cream.
Cleanse your palate of the rich white chocolate flavors with sweet whites and rose, as well as sparkling wines.
What Wine Does Milk Chocolate Pair With?
Milk chocolate pairs well sweet red wines (and some dry) like Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Vintage Port.
Milk chocolate is smooth, creamy chocolate. It often displays flavors of vanilla, cream, and brown sugar. It pairs best with a wine with a light to medium body, with ripe fruity notes.
What Wine Does Dark Chocolate Pair With?
Dark chocolate pairs well with dry red wines like Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel.
Semi-sweet and bitter chocolates that are 50 to 100% cocoa have intense, bitter flavors. They can also feature earthy or fruity undertones.
Match the intensity of this chocolate by pairing it with a wine that will not add additional dryness. Look for full-bodied yet fruit-forward wines.
What Wine Does Hazelnut Chocolate Pair With?
Hazelnut chocolate pairs well with Brachetto d’Acqui.
There is a famous saying: what grows together, goes together. That means you can easily match the flavors of hazelnuts, which are a staple in Piemonte, to a wine made from the same region: Brachetto d’Acqui.
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As a mom of three little eaters, I am excited to share my love of cooking, smoking, and baking with you. My love of food started when I went to college in Berkeley, and has followed me ever since! When I am not “momming,” writing, or cooking, you can find me reading, traveling, or hiking.