A Perfect Partnership

The owners of my neighbourhood chocolate factory, Devonport Chocolates, asked me to recommend a wine match for their white chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. To assist my research they supplied me with a good quantity of each. Two days later I asked for more. My wife and daughters had eaten the samples.

I selected a wide range of wine styles and sampled them with each chocolate type. Many people might consider that I’m lucky to be able to make a living out of tasting wine and eating chocolate. They’re right.

Now here comes the interesting part. The best match with dark chocolate was Cabernet Sauvignon, a deep and often astringent red. The chocolate’s bitterness seemed to soften the wine’s astringency making it taste smoother and richer. I considered recommending Cabernet Sauvignon as a match for the Mousse and Fondant but a psychiatrist friend cautioned me against it. It seems such an unlikely match that many people might find it unsatisfactory despite the fact that it works brilliantly. The process of brain overriding taste-buds is called “psychological predetermination” he explained.

I’ve chosen the safer option of the rich, botrytis-affected Forrest Estate The Doctors Chenin Blanc 2008 which is a fantastic buy at $25. It’s a terrific wine that will snuggle up to both desserts brilliantly. Adventurous imbibers might like to try the Cabernet Sauvignon option, which is even better.

First published in KiaOra Magazine – Oct 2009.

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