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Snooth User: Psycheotix

Hello everyone I am new here.

Posted by Psycheotix, Nov 29, 2008.

and fairly new to drinking wine. Does anyone have any good advice in selecting a nice wine for dark rich chocolate within a price range up to $35 for the bottle? I have tried a couple but no luck, I am willing to keep on trying till I hit the one that works. BTW Love this site so far. ^_^

Replies

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Reply by John Andrews, Nov 30, 2008.

Hi Christine! Let me be the first to welcome you to Snooth!

As for recommendations, I'd go with what we do at the winery I work at part time. With dark chocolate (72% cocco) we pair a ruby (syrah-based) port. Other than that, I cabernet like the Honing Napa Valley (http://www.snooth.com/wine/honig-ca...).

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Nov 30, 2008.

Hi Christine,

Welcome to Snooth!

You don't mention whether you are looking for a sweet wine or a dry wine. A sweet wine in general will make the better match since the chocolate's sweetness can throw off the balance of a wine.

Banyuls, a dessert wine based on the Grenache gape from Southern france, is considered to be one of the best matches, a position I whole heartedly endorse!
http://www.snooth.com/wines/banyuls/

If you are looking for a dry wine to pair with chocolate I suggest you go one of two routes, either very fruity or very spicy.

For the fruity wine keeping with Grenache is a good idea, and while the wines of the southern Rhone tend to be the most famous Grenache based wines those from Spain are even fruitier and have a density that seems to pair with Chocolate well.
Try the Alto Moncayo
http://www.snooth.com/wines/banyuls...
For a spicy wine you can actually go in 2 directions, a wine that derives its spiciness from the grape of one that gains spiciness from the oak ageing. For the grape a mourvedre would work well with it's dark plummy fruit and earthy spice tones. Pradeaux's bandol would be an interesting choice.

http://www.snooth.com/wines/bandol+...

Or you might want to try an Argentine Malbec with it's spicy fruit and typically oakier notes. The Noemia is a pretty impressive example.
http://www.snooth.com/wines/malbec+...

So that should get you started with a few ideas. let me know if I am on the right or wrong track here . I look forward to seeing your impressions of wines with chocolate!

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Reply by Philip James, Nov 30, 2008.

Christine - Hi there. Some of the Canadian Ice Wines would work - like the Banylus, they are very sweet. They dont have as much acidity in general, but pairing chocolate with something even sweeter is a pretty solid bet.

Welcome

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Reply by Pymonte, Nov 30, 2008.

It'll pale in comparison to Greg's, but I'll throw in my two cents as well here...

Not three weeks ago, I was eating really dark chocolate with Bogle's Petite Syrah Port, and it was delicious.

http://www.snooth.com/wine/bogle-vi...

And right now I've got an open bottle of Chateau Reynella's Old Cave port. That went really, really nicely with chocolate as well.

http://www.snooth.com/wine/chateau-...

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Reply by Psycheotix, Nov 30, 2008.

I really appreciate the fast response everyone has given me. I am going to buy some of these wine and different dark chocolates to experiment. I will let you know how it goes. Thank you so much for your help and knowledge. (In other words you guyz ROCK!)

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Reply by Eric Guido, Nov 30, 2008.

I'm really surprised that no one mentioned a brachetto. It's a little sweet and a little fizzy. Great for Dark Chocolate. I did an all chocolate party for the Belgium embassy last year and this was the preferred beverage. Brought a whole case and actually came close to running out of it before the end..

Banfi Brachetto D'Acqui 2006
http://www.snooth.com/wine/brachett...

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Reply by VinoVixenATL, Dec 1, 2008.

I concur with Eric on the Brachetto; Briada makes a serviceable one as well. I describe it to my clientele as "the raspberry soda for adults" and it is certianly the quintessential match for chocolate! Additionally, orange and black muscats, like the ones produced by Quady, pair well. Alvear Solera sherry, too.

Red Zinfandel (not the pink stuff) works well, as do Cabernet Francs from California or even Australia, as they tend to possess characteristics of ripe berry fruits and chocolate themselves. CG DiArie ZIn AND Cab Franc out of Cali come to mind.

A little off the beaten path: Cuatro Pasos, a Spanish wine made of Mencia from Bierzo. Drinks like a cross between Cab Franc and Malbec. Enjoy endulging in your quest!

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Dec 1, 2008.

"The raspberry soda for adults", eh? Sounds like a winner.

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Reply by Psycheotix, Dec 4, 2008.

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I was not expecting many selections. I am starting from the beginning and working my self slowly down through everyones suggestions. Here is the wine I selected to be the first to try. Thank you Honda this was a very nice wine. Gregory I tried getting at least one of your suggestions, but I have not been lucky in finding one. I am not sure if it is because of the regulations for alcohol in TN. Oh, well I am going to keep trying. Here are my personal results.

Wine: http://www.snooth.com/wine/honig-ca...
Remember I am fairly new at this wine description and tasting. And of course you can very well jump in and let me know if I have missed something or misinterpreted the wine. I am here to learn. ^_^

Description of the wine.
Color: Very deep clear garnet red. I had it in a rock glass small wine cup made it look like a gem. Beautiful. Drops fell very slowly from the walls of the glass after a few seconds. I saw a long drop, a small drop, a long drop a small drop pattern, the drops looked semi heavy and almost sugary in a way. The smell was uplifting vanilla? Cocoa? When I tasted, it reminded me of the tardiness I get when my tea has been steeped a bit longer than it should have or it has been sitting in my tea warmer a bit too long. The taste of the wine absolutely assured me that it has cocoa in it, not so sure about the vanilla though, maybe caramel?. Hmm. I felt it had nice warmth to it, even though it was nice and chilled.

All right, I got most of my fav. everyday chocolate and some cookies to taste with this wine. The experiment was fun. This is what I got out of it.


Pepperidge Farm Cookies:

Geneva- I felt it gave the wine a bitter strong taste. The wine felt acid.

Golden Butter- I felt it neutralized the wine and made it taste boring. / ****^With Nutella- Made the wine taste soft at first then became fruity and flowery?

Bordeaux - Bland- Neutralized the wine - Cleaned my palate-Like coffee to your nose, but for wine. I started using this cookie when my tongue got exhausted or overwhelmed with the flavors.

Montieri Raspberry Tart- The cookie may have overpowered the wine, but I noticed something strange. I got a sensation for a split of a second that I was drinking, merlot? Very Odd I thought. May be the raspberry in the cookie?

Chessman - The cookie is so delicate it made the wine taste a bit bitter to me. / ***^With Nutella the wine taste was soft not bitter at all and every sip there after was as soft and quite smooth, I like. / Covered with Dark Chocolate Fondue the wine tasted a bit bitter but still soft in some areas it was an good interesting taste.

Other cookies:

LU Pin’s Raspberry - Again with the bitterness. The cookie is too sweet for the wine made the wine taste like copper. Have you ever tried putting a penny in your mouth? This is exactly like that.

Chocolate covered:

Organic Dark Chocolate covered Mulberry - Ought! Made the wine taste very loud and bitter, I felt I needed water afterwards. This was a smack in the face taste. {DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. }

Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Gogi Berry - I got a nice soft fruity taste, then it felt as if the gogi berry would be covered and then uncovered as if playing hide and seek in my mouth while the wine acquired a fruity taste, then sweet, then a bit tartness and at the end the after taste would linger with a soft breathable berry taste.

Ferrero Rocher - The wine taste nice and soft but is because the Ferrero is very strong and overpowers the taste of the wine by a bit.

Chocolates:

Ghirardelli Midnight Riviere 86% - Very hard and does not melt in a million years while it sits there on my tongue. But after bitting through it and almost making it pure laying it flat on my toungue as if I were to stick my dirty chocolaty tongue like a child I sipped the wine and to my surprise, ah yes this was nice, made the wine feel, full bodied? and heavy yet smooth on my tongue.

Ghirardelli Twilight Delight 72% - Almost the same feel as the 86% Ghirardelli, but I prefer the darker chocolate with the wine.

Vosges Barcelona Bar - My roommate Ely loved this combination with the wine. She mentioned it feels sophisticated and full. I on the other hand felt that even though it was good I think the salt did not helped the combination much. I felt I was on the beach with a flower petal on my mouth. Weird.

Vosges Black Pearl Bar - This is a very zesty chocolate, the ginger cleaned my tongue while the chocolate worked itself to my sweet and spicy sides of my tongue, when the wine ran in to my mouth the match was nice and I could say it felt balanced, neither overpowered the other, the breathing also felt quite refreshing and nice. Breathing Menthol? It felt like being rubbed on the chest as a kid with a little bit of Vicks.

*****^ Vosges Red Fire Bar - Beautiful!! I liked it, what can I say? I usually do not like anything spicy, but this combination was very nice. Actually one of my fave. I just wanted to drink the whole wine after this. This was nice over and over again. No dryness, no tartness and it felt like they go together very well. This combination had a *Spark* to it and tingly on the tongue. After this tasting, I melted this chocolate and with any fruit I had it with it worked great.

Fruits:

Pealed small red Apple - Made the wine bitter but / With Nutella what a difference made the wine softer to drink. But I enjoyed the Fundue version of this one a lot more. Fondue was with El Rey Chocolate I got from Wholes Foods.

Strawberry - Made the wine acidic? I am not 100% sure but def. not my taste. Even with Nutella/ With Dark Chocolate Fondue it was different The wine felt delicate and I felt spices on the wine? And a bit of caramelized something or vanilla in it. Not too sure though.

Blackberry - Hmm, this was a bit hard to decipher, it almost left the wine to its true taste which was very good, but with a very, very subtle undertone of berry. I liked it.

Well I want to say thank you again to all. And sorry for my testament here. No4. Thou shall drink as much wine as possible and find the one you like most with chocolate. ^_^

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Reply by Pymonte, Dec 4, 2008.

Excellent writeup! Very interesting, and sounds like you had a fun night, which is, I guess, really the point.

If you really want to get some awesome chocolate, go for Valrhona. It's beyond beautiful.

http://www.valrhona.com/

It's essentially the unanimous choice of good chefs when it comes to chocolate.

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Dec 4, 2008.

Wow.

I just put a dent in my coffee so the brain is not quite to full speed but this is an impressive report!

Thanks for taking the time to share, once i am a little more active I want to re-read this and try and think about it a little more in depth but it looks like you had a great time and really got a handle on your palate preferences and had a blast doing it!

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Reply by John Andrews, Dec 4, 2008.

Let me jump in here and compliment the write up as well. Also, I am honored you'd pick the wine I suggested. The great thing is now I _know_ what I should and shouldn't pair it with. :-)

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Reply by Philip James, Dec 4, 2008.

I really have such a sweet tooth - what a great writeup!

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Dec 5, 2008.

Nicely done! Thanks for sharing.


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