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! SOMA Bachelors Hall 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! CÓCÓ’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. Desbarres Kilombero 72%is a Tanzanian cocoa with slight complexity, earthy chocolate flavour with hints of caramel and citrus that highlight the wine's vanilla notes and allows the non-fruit flavours to shine through. If you're interested in a mind blasting pairing, try this wine with CÓCÓ'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. Sweetness Peru 68%dark bar is a little sweeter with deep fruit notes of raspberry and hints of vanilla. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a slow creamy melt allowing the flavours to linger on the palate long after the chocolate is gone. This is the moment to drink the wine, and let it mingle with the chocolate flavours left behind.
5) Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel Lodiis once again available and we couldn’t be more pleased! We love the pairings we have for this powerful wine with smoky, fruity, sweet flavours of cinnamon, dark berries and vanilla. This powerful wine needs powerful chocolate, so we have paired it with two Hummingbird bars, Mayan 68% and Hispaniola 70%.Start your pairing with Hummingbird’s Hispaniola 70%bar. This multiple award winning bar is the fruity bar the wine likes! Pronounced notes of raisin and cherry highlight the fruit in the wine, making for as sweet a pairing could be 70% dark chocolate! On the other hand, the Hummingbird Mayan 68%bar takes this pairing to another place entirely. With cinnamon, nutmeg and chili in the chocolate, the smokiness of the wine becomes more pronounced, the spice notes dominate and the pairing is a hot one!