Happy World Chocolate Day!

Wine / Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

I am so excited!

This week I get to talk about two of my favourite topics. 

Wine and Chocolate!

The thing is… while I love wine and I love chocolate, I don’t necessarily love them together.

Let’s have a look at why that may be…


Chocolate has tannins too

If you haven’t tried Red Cacao chocolates from the Adelaide Hills you haven’t lived! Photo by Meaghan Coles

Wine — particularly red wine — shares many flavour components with dark chocolate, including acidity and astringency.

The flavonoids (including tannins) that give structure to red wine also produce the astringency (that dry tongue feeling) and characteristic reddish-brown color of chocolate.

The astringent quality of both wine and chocolate is more pronounced in an acidic environment (such as your mouth), so pairing them together will highlight the astringent notes in both.

Sugar rivalry

Both chcolate and wine want to control your sweetness-detecting taste buds.

When consuming chocolate and wine together, the sweeter one will increase your perception of bitter flavours in the other. 

The sugar in chocolate may overwhelm the subtle fruity and floral notes in a wine. And if you’re drinking a sweet wine, you may lose a lot of the delicate raisin and berry flavors that are often prominent in very dark chocolate.

High-maintenance fat

Cocoa butter is a fussy, complicated, high-maintenance fat! And cocoa beans contain about 50% cocoa butter.

One of cocoa butter’s characteristic traits is its sensitivity to very small changes in ambient temperature. Solid at room temperature, cocoa butter softens steadily in warmer temperatures.

Knowing this, chocolate makers refine cocoa beans and sugar so the cocoa butter crystals and sugar particles in chocolate are the perfect size to melt and release their flavor in the average 37 (ish) degree mouth. Chocolate makers know that if the particle size is too small, the chocolate will taste slimy or waxy. Too big, and it’s grainy or gritty. 

Red wine is typically served anywhere between 12 and 18 degress, and white wine is usually served much colder than that. For several minutes after drinking a cool beverage, the temperature of the inside of your mouth decreases dramatically. If your mouth is cool and you try to eat chocolate, the result will be… yuck.

I find most chocolate tastes waxy and flavorless if I’ve just had something cold to drink.


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This doesn’t mean that ALL chocolate and wine pairings are awful. It just means that you need to keep these things in mind when iguring out what works.

There are several wines that make great pairings with chocolate and they are amazing!



A good milk chocolate is usually about half chocolate and half cream The extra fat from the cream makes milk chocolate one of the easiest chocolates to pair with wine.

Look for sweet sparkling red wines (not Somerled Sparkling Shiraz!), late harvest red wines and port-style wines (especially ones with spicey, berry-driven flavours). 

A Rutherglen Muscat is a perfect pairing for milk chocolate!



The polyphenols in dark chocolate mirror those in wine and give both a somewhat bitter taste. It’s also the part of the chocolate that gives you all the health benefits! The bitterness in dark chocolate is what we’ll want to balance out with a properly selected wine pairing.

Port – the real stuff from Portugal – often has touches of cinnamon spice to the taste profile and pairs marvelously with chocolates with high cacao percentages.

Pedro Ximenez is a super sweet sherry from Spain. It adds nutty and raisiny flavors to dark chocolate.



White chocolate isn’t technically a “true” chocolate because it doesn’t contain cacao (the brown part with all the flavanols), but it ends up being one of the few chocolate-like sweets that will match with dry red wine! Woohoo!

Even I can admit that Pinot Noir is a shockingly good pairing. The white chocolate acts as the fat that delivers sweet flavors of red cherries, strawberries, and raspberries found in the Pinot Noir. 

It also goes nicely with a sweet Ice Wine. Ice Wine is normally made from Riesling and pairing it with white chocolate you’ll discover notes of pineapple, lemon meringue, and creamy candied oranges.


Pairing Dark Chocolate With Dry Red Wines

The idea of a beautiful glass of Cabernet Sauvignon with a nice piece of dark chocolate sounds marvelous, but when you put the two components together in your mouth it usually makes the wine taste gross. There are a few exceptions to this:

  • Red wines with some residual sugar can usually do great alongside a darker chocolate. 
  • When you have dark chocolate within a dessert, such as cake or cheesecake, it’s possible to have enough fat and starch in the dessert to counteract the bitterness in both chocolate and wine.


And for one last comment on chocolate and wine, I’m handing it over to this video I found on the Wine Folly website.

Apparantely there is a wine called “Chocolate Shop”. It claims to be  “The Chocolate Lovers Wine”!

I can’t quite figure out what it is. The tasting notes say the variety is “Chocolate Red Wine” (what ever that is!). My educated guess is that it’s a blend of varieties that have chocolately flavours (perhaps there is some warm climate Shiraz and Cabernet in there?!).

Anyway, whatever it is… after watching this vieo, I don’t want to taste it!


Club Room Update

The club room is looking AMAZING (if we do say so ourselves!)!

This week I’m only giving you a couple of snippets to whet your apetite. I don’t want to give too much away before its grand opening (stay tuned for more details of that coming soon!)!


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