I have been on a chocolate kick lately and I am sorry but it’s staying that way for awhile. You can call it whatever you want and in regards to jokes about women and chocolate, let’s just say there is no amount of wine to make them funny. And I’m realizing that chocolate is not always that easy to pair. Chocolate has so many varieties and textures. It can be coated in candy, encased between graham crackers and put on top of ice cream. And although red wine and chocolate is a safe bet, it is not always going to be a slam dunk.
I am sorry chocolate, for thinking you were so easy to understand. Can we start over?
Before I begin, I have to do a shout-out to my friend who gave me some chocolate to pair. Not only is it delicious chocolate, it is coffee chocolate. It was super nice of her and I encourage everyone to..uh..do that. Anyway, I also had left over Xmas M&Ms from making my gingerbread house. This splash of Christmas cheer is a bit of a warm up for next week’s pairing.
The Candy: Dark Chocolate Mexicano-Coffee
AND Xmas M&Ms!
The Wine: Nugan, Third Generation Shiraz, 2011
Mmmm shiraz. A delectable fruity wine I don’t know too much about. I always associated it with being light, but that is because the name flies off the tongue. It sounds like a dance step. At any rate, I thought the distinct fruit flavors would liven up the coffee and chocolate.I knew the Mexicano chocolate had a subtle coffee flavor, so I worried the fruity shiraz would throw off the coffee flavor. I tossed in the M&Ms at a whim, because they were simply on hand.
Let’s see how it went.
The first prominent taste in the Shiraz is the pleasant and familiar bitterness. It reminds me of the skin of an orange. The bitter flavor transitions into a bursting of rich pomegranate. It pops on your tongue.
The chocolate is flaky and dark with a slight crunch. It is rich and coats the mouth. The aftertaste is definitely coffee. After I take the sip of wine, the chocolate fairs pretty well and the bitterness decreases. It is still there, but faint instead of commanding the taste buds. The coffee flavor in the chocolate is weaker too. The pomegranate and chocolate flavors meld nicely, but it wasn’t quite the effect I wanted.
The M&Ms taste extremely sweet in comparison to the dark chocolate. The wine gets increasingly bitter with the M&Ms staying true to their very very sweet form. It is actually ok, but not amazing.
This pairing went well all things considered. The flavors were interesting and a little unpredictable. A coffee chocolate may be more suited with a port, but I could be wrong.
The Takeaway: I recommend a fruity wine with a darker chocolate, though you may not get all the initial flavors.
And as promised, my gingerbread house!