Halloween Chocolate and wine pairing

Did you know:

 Belgian chocolate tends to contain more cream, French, German and Italian more cocoa solid, industrial British chocolate more cocoa butter and sugar, Swiss chocolate more milk.

Let’s start by defining what we find in Chocolate :

Sweet, Bitter, Acidic and Fruity. This vary base on the % of Cacao.

 

Did you know that the process to make Chocolate from the Cocoa Bean is very similar to wine ?

Here is a summary of the Production process:

Harvest: Ripe Cocoa pod are harvest twice a year. Immediately the Pod is cut open to retrieve the white Cocoa bean. As for wine, Cocoa culture vary base on the region where it is harvest. Soil and Climate influence greatly in the process.

Fermenting: Pod and Pulp are lay down on a wooden tray where the pulp is left to ferment for 5 to 7 days.

Drying: After the fermentation the Beans are spread out in one layer under the sun and left to dry.

Roasting: The chocolate is then Roasted. This process is usually done by the chocolate maker and not the farmer.

Traditional Method

 

Cracking and Winnowing: The Bean are Crack and the shell is removed (Winnowing process). = Pure Cocoa Bean known as 'Nibs'.

Grinding and Conching: The cocoa bean are ground with stone until they become a paste known as Cocoa mass

Then the Tempering process plays a key role in the style as the Chocolate maker plays with the Temperature of the Chocolate Mass to give the desired texture.

 

IF YOUR CHOCOLATE ISN’T SWEET, YOUR WINE SHOULDN’T BE !

The Pairing

Important to start with: Pair chocolate and wine according to the % of Cocoa. In the case of Chocolate we can say that HEAVY like HEAVY (Tanin not Sweet). That means that has the % of cocoa increase you will need to pair with heavier wine.

At Miami Wine Buzz we believe that you should end your evening with a clean palate, Fresh.

Sugar + Sugar = Heavy

We believe that Chocolate should be paired with wines that have tanins with a nice touch of acidity to keep the finale light and your palate fresh, ready for the next bite. 

From Beaujolais, and Zinfandel to Maury and Colheita all these wines pair well with Chocolate depending of the Cocoa percentage. As percentage increase you will move toward fortified wines and to end with Scotch or Whisky.

Dark Chocolate

As the % of Cocoa increase you will need to go for more structured wines with higher level of Tanins but always finding a wine with enough acidity to keep the final fresh.

 

Cocoa Bean from the Pod

50% Cacao: Cabernet Franc, Barolo, or a good white wines like the Vermentino

70 – 75% Cacao: Zinfandel, Syrah, Carignan, Malbec, Grenache, a  Amarone, or a blend from Cote-du-Rhône, or Washington State, South Africa

80% Cacao and more: Select a wine like the Maury, Rivesaltes, or a nice Colheita.

100% Cacao: Treat yourself to a nice Scotch with some peaty notes.

 

* Dark chocolate filled with cream or fruit: Morgon, Pinot noir, Dolcetto

White Chocolate

White chocolate isn’t really ‘chocolate’ because it doesn’t include cocoa, just cocoa fat. This little fact makes it one of the more versatile pairings with wine.
 
 Recommended Wines Rosé Port, Ice Wine, Muscat, Riesling and Pinot Gris from Alsace or Germany

Milk Chocolate:

Recommended Wines: Whisky with oaky notes or Cognac