by Sarah Shotwell


Valentine’s Day is around the corner! Whether you have a saucy blind date or are planning on drowning your sorrows while watching You’ve Got Mail on repeat, one thing is certain: wine and chocolate are both likely to play starring roles in your evening. While the pairing options are truly infinite, one rule stands: most sommeliers agree that it’s best to avoid dry wines this time. Below is a guide to my favorite wine/chocolate mashups:


Lavender White Chocolate with Orange Muscat

Normally I would refuse to acknowledge cacao-free white chocolate as even remotely related to my favorite food, real chocolate. But when spicy, elegant lavender is added to this cloying, creamy imposter, the effect is quite remarkable. To accentuate floral notes while cutting the cream with a hint of acidity, pair lavender white chocolate with a light Orange Muscat.

Caramel Milk Chocolates with Cream Sherry

Buttery, melty caramel and sweet, soft, milk chocolate pair perfectly with a round, warm, smooth Cream Sherry.

Sea Salt Dark Chocolate with Zinfandel

For this combustible pairing, skip the dry, bitter reds and opt for something big and jammy, like hot climate or late harvest Zinfandel.

Hazelnut Chocolate with Late Harvest Riesling

Late Harvest Riesling, with its bright acidity and complex notes of stone fruit and petrol, makes a unique and distinctive pairing for nearly any dessert. Hazelnuts, with their toasted, smoky flavor, complement this wine beautifully. 

High-Cacao Dark Chocolate and Ruby Port

 A simple rule of thumb with this classic pairing is the more bitter the cocoa, the sweeter the port. Try a bright ruby made with a fruity Syrah or soft Merlot.


Have any wine and chocolate pairing ideas? Share them with us on the TCM Wine Club Facebook or Twitter!