Idaho Wines Love Chocolate

by Brenna Christison, Idaho Wine Commission

Ste. Chapelle Moscato pair nicely with dark chocolate.

Ste. Chapelle Moscato pairs nicely with dark chocolate.

Have you ever paired chocolate and wine? Wine and chocolate is an amazing dessert and a great way to end your evening. What could be sweeter on Valentine’s Day?

I enjoy dark chocolate most with a bold red wine; it makes the two even more delicious! When pairing the two, a good rule to follow is to make sure the wine is a little sweeter than the chocolate. If extreme dark chocolate (70% cacao) is your favorite, pair it with a bold red such as a cabernet sauvignon or malbec. You need a big, robust wine that can stand up to a heavy dark chocolate, as a milder wine will be overtaken by a strong cocoa content.  One of my favorite chocolate pairing wines is Koenig Vineyard’s 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon – awarded 91 points by Wine Spectator. If your chocolate has mint flavor or nuts, a cabernet sauvignon is a great option.

If you prefer a milder dark chocolate (60% cacao) try a merlot or syrah. Cold Spring’s 2009 Merlot, a gold medal winner in the 2013 Idaho Wine Competition, would be a great pairing. Milk chocolate has a softer, creamier texture than dark chocolate, and works nicely with a lighter, sweeter wine. Try a dessert wine or a rosè like Sawtooth Winery’s 2012 Classic Fly Series.

Chocolate bars from Cowgirl Chocolates

Chocolate bars from Cowgirl Chocolates.

Cinsault Rosè, another gold medal recipient from the 2013 Idaho Wine Competition. White chocolate, although technically not chocolate, is quite tasty with a moscato. Try Ste. Chapelle’s moscato for a delicious combination.

Idaho has wonderful wines, and there are some terrific chocolate shops, too.

Cowgirl Chocolates in Moscow, ID
Dream Chocolates in Boise, ID
The Chocolat Bar in Boise, ID
Weiser Candy Co. in Weiser, ID
Arno Chocolates in Twin Falls, ID
The McCall Candy Company in McCall, ID
Sandpoint Chocolate Bear in Sandpoint, ID
Coeur d’Alene Chocolates, in Coeur d’Alene, ID

Always remember to eat the chocolate you love and drink the wine you love – especially if it is Idaho wine and chocolates!