Guest post by Doreen Pendgracs, chocolate author
A while back I asked Doreen Pendgracs if she was interested in swapping posts. She agreed and last month my post appeared on Chocolate Travel Diversions. She suggested I write about Chocolate Beer and I rather enjoyed that post. You can view the post here. Does Chocolate Beer Contain Real Chocolate?
Doreen Pendgracs is traveling the world and exploring chocolate and the cultures around it. A book is in the works and I am looking forward to reading it. So I now leave you with Doreen Pendracs to talk about chocolate and libations.
Chocolate Makes the World Go Round – and pairs well with just about anything
I’ve been traveling the world in search of the best chocolate for more than three years as I research my book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate. During that time, I’ve had the opportunity to taste fine artisanal chocolate with a variety of libations. It’s a bit of an art to know what to drink with a specific type of chocolate. In this post, I’ll try and share a few tips in time for holiday celebrations.
The first rule is, pair bold with bold. If you’re eating a deep dark chocolate, it’s not going to go with a light beer. Dark chocolate pairs beautifully with the intensity of a stout. Believe it or not, Guinness of Dublin, Ireland – famous for its fabulous stout – also makes the best dark chocolate truffles on the planet. They are simple (made from pure dark chocolate, heavy cream, Guinness stout, and orange rind) but intense in flavour and truly decadent.
If you prefer a lighter or blond beer, it will pair nicely with milk chocolate as neither one will overpower the other.
Pairing Chocolate with Wine
The same rule applies. If you’re pairing a dark chocolate, look for a bold-flavoured deep red wine such as Malbec (Argentina makes terrific moderately-priced Malbec,) South African vintages such as Pinotage, or vintages with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah blend. You will find many of these types of vintages actually indicate the presence of chocolate or cocoa in the tasting notes found on the bottle. This is a good assurance that the vintage will pair well with chocolate.
Dry white wine isn’t my favourite to pair with any chocolate, but a sweeter white such as German Riesling pairs nicely with milk chocolate. And sparkling wines such as champagne pair exceptionally well with fruit-flavoured truffles, chocolate dipped strawberries, or white chocolate. You could also pair a rose (white Zinfandel) with white chocolate.
Pairing Chocolate with Brandy, Scotch or Port
Surprisingly, the bold flavours of a top-shelf brandy, cognac, Scotch or port go very well with dark chocolate, particularly a high percentage (over 70%) dark chocolate. Just as these libations pair well with the strong flavours of an after dinner cigar, they will pair nicely with the intense yet smooth flavour of top quality dark artisanal chocolate.
If you find yourself heading to South America, where Pisco (a form of clear brandy) is popular, and the chocolate is dark, acidic, and fruity, you might want to check out this post where I explain the intricacies of pairing specific Pisco varietals with certain flavours of chocolate.
I hope this post will encourage you to try pairing chocolate with your favourite libation. Chocolate makes the world go round, and so do the local beverages of whatever locale you may have the pleasure of visiting.
For more on chocolate travel, please visit my blog at http://diversionswithdoreen.com/
Happy New Year!
Well done Doreen
Now we know no matter what we drink there is a chocolate to pair with it.
Tell us about your favorite chocolates and libations.