We like to recommend our Maury wine from Mas Amiel as the thing for chocolate. It's like a very clean, fruity, ruby port, but with enough complexity to match your double choc pecan pie or whatever it may be. I'd also recommend the Dulce from Bodegas Tintoralba as a very fine accompaniment to chocolate desserts, or chocs in a box. It smells of Ribena, and there's a lively streak of blackcurranty acidity on the palate too. I've only sampled that one, and the bottle's all gone, so you may have to wait a while to find out for yourself.
For some other suggestions, let me refer you to the effervescent Natalie Maclean, because it's about time I did.
50 Ways to Keep Your Lover this Valentine’s Day
Find wines to match 50 chocolate dishes at www.NatalieMacLean.com
New York (January 9, 2008) – “Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day?” asks Natalie MacLean, author of Red, White and Drunk All Over: A Wine-Soaked Journey from Grape to Glass. “Just share a glass of wine (or three) with your sweetheart.”
“Wine is liquid sensuality: Its heady bouquet stimulates the appetite and its velvet caress soothes that desire,” she observes. “What other drink is described as both ‘voluptuous’ and ‘muscular’? And when you pair wine with the mouth-coating luxury of chocolate, the combination is impossible to resist.”
The creamy flavors of chocolate go best with sweet, full-bodied, high-alcohol wines, MacLean notes. She suggests wines to complement 50 chocolate dishes in her online matching tool at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher. Just click on “desserts” to find pairings for chocolate mud pie to chocolate cheesecake.
Natalie’s top 10 wine and chocolate matches:
1. Dark Chocolate and Banyuls, France
2. Chocolate-Covered Biscotti and Recioto Della Valpolicella, Italy
3. Chocolate-Orange Cake and Liqueur Muscat, Australia
4. Chocolate with Nuts and Tawny Port, Portugal
5. Milk Chocolate and Tokaji, Hungary
6. Bittersweet Chocolate and Amarone, Italy
7. Chocolate-Dipped Fruit and Icewine, Canada
8. Chocolate Ganache Truffles and Sauternes, France
9. Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake and Framboise, California
10. Chocolate Hearts with Cream Filling and Cream Sherry, Spain
Natalie’s online food-and-wine matcher doesn’t just focus on chocolate. The interactive tool has thousands of wines to pair with any dish: meat, pasta, seafood, vegetarian fare, pizza, eggs, cheese and dessert. You simply choose the food or wine from a drop-down menu to get the pairing suggestions. There are also lots of recipes for those planning a romantic meal. The matcher is updated regularly with new dishes and wines from the 83,000-plus readers who subscribe to Natalie’s free e-newsletter, which offers tips on how to buy, cellar and serve wine.
In Red, White and Drunk All Over, Natalie discusses how to match food and wine in greater depth, including wines for a multi-course dinner. There’s also a chapter with advice on pairing wine with five challenging foods: chocolate, cheese, spicy dishes, vegetables and fast food. Got a dish or a wine to stump Natalie? Just e-mail her via her web site and she’ll suggest a match for you.