We have hosted many Chocolate with Wine Pairing events over the years and have found a number of bars that make perfect partners for particular wines. The idea is to find complimentary flavours in both the chocolate and the wine, so they are enhanced or highlighted when put together. Or to look for flavour profiles that are in contrast to each other that make unusual but delightful tasting experiences.
The following are pairings that we especially like. All wines can be found at the LCBO in the Essentials or Vintages collections and naturally all the chocolate bars are on our shelves almost always.
1) Dandelion Vineyards Lionheart of the Barossa Shirazis a big, bold fruity Australian wine with earthy tones, hints of spice and strong berry notes. One bottle and 4 pairings! Hummingbird's Cap-Haitien 70%and Dick Taylor’s 72% Belize are single origin bars with fruity notes, lovely texture and a smooth melt. When paired with this big bold fruity Shiraz, it’s a fruit explosion! MAC'S Raspberry Balsamic 70% bar has intense raspberry flavour and a tartness from the balsamic. Itplays beautifully, and unexpectedly, with the wine’s fruit notes but also highlights the more subtle spice notes in the wine. Sirene’s Mayan Spice 73% bar is made with the intensely fruity Guatemalan cocoa and a chili mix made in Cahabon, Guatemala. It highlights the spice notes in the wine, slightly downplaying the fruit a bit and bringing the spice to the forefront.
2) Catena Malbec, Argentinais a rich full bodied wine with flavour notes of berry fruits, dark chocolate and spices. A silky, slightly dry mouthfeel makes it perfect for a a smooth creamy bar. The perfect pairing for this wine is Finnia’s Honduras 70%bar. The one and only. The chocolate melts beautifully releasing flavours of rich chocolate, caramel and almond. A pairing of contrasts in perfection.
3) Beronia Rioja Reserva, Spainis a medium bodied and fruity wine matured in oak barrels with a crazy flavour profile! Intense black fruits, liquorice, chocolate and cloves. Deep, dark and spicy with vanilla and smoke flavours. We have paired with two very different single origin bars to highlight different notes in the wine. Sirene Guatemala 73%is an intensely fruity bar and really plays up the fruit notes in the wine. This is a thick bar and the melt is long and delicious, rich and full and is a wonderful textural partner for this wine. MAC'S Raspberry Balsamic 70% bar. Both the wine and the chocolate have intense, bold flavours making the combination of the two an explosive taste experience.
4) Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico, Italy is a full bodied, smooth wine with cherry, currant, leather and herbal flavour notes. We enjoy this wine with two single origin bars with fruity flavour profiles. Finnia's Dak Lak 70% dark bar is Vietnamese origin with beautiful fruity flavours led by raisin and plum, highlighting the notes of currants in the wine. Qantu's MORROPÓN 70% dark bar is a luscious pairing with this wine. An award winning bar, made with albino cacao beans, it has lovely notes of cherry, berries and plums, accentuating the fruit flavour of the chianti.