There are some key points of similarity between chocolate and wine. Both chocolate and wine are made from fruit (chocolate from the cacao pod) and (wine from grapes). The flavor and aroma yielded by both the cacao pod and the grape are a function of their rootstock, soil, climate, and weather conditions. And both chocolate and wine are both made from a blend of beans or grapes, each with distinct flavor profiles.

There is some skill involved in pairing the right chocolate with the right wine. And yes chocolate and wine do complement each other! Follow these strategies and you will be able to engage your palate to the fullest – just think of pairing the most exotic chocolate truffle with a glass of vintage Bordeaux!

White Chocolate

White chocolate tends to be mellow and buttery in flavor, making it ideal for Champagne, Sparkling Wine, Fruity Chardonnay, Orange Muscat or Sherry. These styles of wine will pick up on the buttery, fatty tones in the chocolate

Milk Chocolate

The classic milk chocolate pairing is Port; other considerations are lighter-bodied Pinot Noir, Merlot, Riesling, Muscat, Desert Wines, Brut Champagnes or Sparkling Wines. Watch out for the high sugar levels in milk chocolate as these can cancel out the fruitiness in reds

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate (50% to 70%) needs a wine that offers a slightly robust flavor such as Cabernet Sauvignon and intense, in-your-face, Zinfandel – this dark chocolate match results in an unparalleled tasting combination. Other choices are Pinot Noir and Merlot. Champagne and sparkling wine can handle dark chocolate around the 55% cocoa mark. Tawny or Vintage Port also offers a well-balanced pairing approach to dark chocolate. Note: some reds have their own chocolate notes – in taste and nosing

Bittersweet Chocolate

Bittersweet chocolate (70% to 100%) enters the bitter range with deep intensity. Chocolate gourmands adore this range of taste, so the wine should live up to it. Excellent choices are Bordeaux, Beaujolais, Shiraz, Orange Muscat, Port, Malbec, and Zinfandel


Champagne generally works well across the chocolate spectrum yet some Champagne are high in acid and can react poorly with your chocolate choice.

The perfect pairing balances sweetness, fruitiness, and acidity—and your own flavor preferences!
While it creates a challenge to find the perfect suitor for a box of assorted truffles; it also makes it fun to seek your favorite pairings.


• First take a sip of the wine
• Then take a piece of the chocolate and let the heat from your tongue melt the chocolate – avoid biting
• Followed by another sip of wine
• Engage your palate to the fullest, and
• Indulge in your senses

Liz Palmer,
Wine and Travel Writer

THE NEXT FOOD TREND: Veuve Clicquot Eclairs

2009 was the year of the cupcake – 2010 is shaping up to be the year of the eclair.

But before you start salivating about the simple delights of choux pastry, lashings of fresh cream and icing, this year’s variation comes with a very controversial twist.

Yes, among the cake cognoscenti, eclairs have gone savoury.
Chocolate eclairs are out, and are being replaced by savoury incarnations

Passé: Chocolate eclairs are out, and are being replaced by savoury incarnations

Forget chocolate and cream. This year’s most fashionable eclairs are filled with creamy ricotta cheese and basil, and crab and crème fraîche. One trendy London hotel even serves a Veuve Clicquot eclair, which comes with a complimentary glass of champagne.

The French may have invented the eclair in the 19th century, but it is a British boutique hotel, The Arch in Marylebone, central London, which is at the very heart of the eclair revolution. For it is here that many of the most outlandish savoury eclairs are served to fashionable ‘ladies who lunch’.

Early reviews suggest experts are split: some are in awe of the new concoctions, while others remain rather unconvinced, especially by the foie gras and Sauternes creation.

But few can deny the hotel setting is a massive improvement on your average cake shop.

The Arch serves the eclairs in its stylish Martini Bar, giving the chattering cocktail crowd something controversial to chew over.