Our favourite wine and chocolate pairings

11 May 2023

Chocolate Knowledge Alcohol Food + Drink

Join these indulgent treats together and find your two familiar favourites transformed

Wine and chocolate are without a doubt two of life’s greatest luxuries — and luckily, one of the most classic pairings. If you’re anything like us, we’re sure that celebrating with a glass in hand and a box of chocolates sounds perfect.

But which wines go best with which kinds of chocolate? And how can you ensure that your pairing will leave you satisfied and not wishing you’d kept your two favourites far apart?

When perfectly matched, these two indulgent treats complement each other incredibly, the flavours of each enhancing the other. When mismatched, however, the wrong wine and chocolate pairing may leave both you and your tastebuds feeling a little bitter.

But fear not. At Hotel Chocolat, we certainly know a thing or two about pairing these fond favourites. From combining crisp white wine with smooth milk chocolate to enjoying a glass of deep red with a nibble of dark chocolate, we’re sure to have just the recommendation for you.

Glass of wine and pretzel sticks

An introduction to pairing wine with chocolate

Excited as we’re sure you are to find the perfect wine and chocolate combo, it’s important to quickly sweep over a few general rules of thumb for matchmaking these two elements. 

As with pairing wine with meats and cheese, different types of chocolate work best with different wines. Generally speaking, your choice of wine should be slightly sweeter than your chocolate in order to avoid that all-too-common sour aftertaste.

Another handy ingredient to look out for — in both your wine and in dark chocolate — is tannins. These are substances found in the natural ingredients of both wine and cacao. They ften add that subtle bitterness to red wines and dark chocolate. When pairing the two treats, you should ensure that only one contains tannins in order to prevent the combination from tasting too bitter.
Looking for more information on the contrasts between the four most popular wine types? Our handy guide has more details.

Which chocolates go best with red wine?

Dark chocolate can work beautifully with red wine if paired thoughtfully. After all, what says sophistication quite like a soothing glass of red and a square of delectable dark chocolate?

While we adore high cacao chocolate, if you want to enjoy it with red wine, we recommend avoiding any chocolates with a cacao percentage over 80%. Too high a cacao content in your choice of chocolate will unfortunately exaggerate the tones of bitterness in both your wine and chocolate.

Instead, why not try a full-bodied red, such as our Vintage Red Wine – Chateau Chocolat, with a slightly more mellow dark chocolate variety. Our Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Selector is an excellent place to start. The result of this pairing? A well-balanced, moreish match to be indulged upon on any evening.

White wine and chocolate pairings

When it comes to white wine, there’s a lot to think about in terms of taste. While you may think throwing together your favourite chocolate bar and white wine is a no-brainer, there’s often a little more to it than meets the eye. It’s a good idea to start by considering the flavours which form the basis of your chosen white, as this should dictate your choice of chocolate to match it.

While a white wine such as chardonnay possesses a more mellow, vanilla-like flavour, a citrus-based sauvignon blanc naturally tastes crisper and fruity. For the prior, a treat from our range of white chocolate or caramel chocolate makes for the perfect mate. Their subtly sweet tones compliment that of a chardonnay. Equally, for a vibrant sauvignon, citrus chocolates, such as our Chocolate Orange Pot Selector, match perfectly.

At the end of the day, pairing chocolate with wine is a process of trial and error based on your personal preferences. A great way to discover your dream match is by throwing a wine and chocolate tasting with family and friends. From birthdays to New Year celebrations, this can be a wonderful way to mark a special occasion.

Glass of wine beside grapes and chocolate liqueurs

How to pair rosé wine and chocolate

Rosé wines often possess subtle fruity notes of strawberry and raspberry. These elements make them the perfect match for a fruity white or milk chocolate. Opting for fruity chocolate made with natural ingredients is key, however. It will ensure that your chocolate and rosé pairing is not overpowered by excess sugar or artificial flavourings.

From Raspberry Macarons to our Fruit & Nut Chocolate Slab Selector, our range of fruity chocolate centres around authentic ingredients for the most satisfying flavours, textures, and aromas.

Additionally, if you have a little less of a sweet tooth and are looking to pair your rosé with dark chocolate, then opting for a very dry rosé will make the best match for you. The richer, mellow tones in your dark chocolate will be levelled out by a drier rosé. Meanwhile, pairing darker chocolate with sweeter rosé may leave you feeling a little sour. We recommend checking the cacao percentage of your dark chocolate to save you from any disappointment.

The best chocolate to enjoy with sparkling wine

Pairing your favourite chocolate with sparkling wine adds the perfect, celebratory touch to any party or festive toast. The good news is that Champagne and Prosecco work well with any kind of chocolate, making these options a flexible and reliable treat for any celebration.

Generally speaking, the drier and lighter your choice of bubbles, the better it will taste with your chosen chocolate. Our Classic Prosecco, from the foothills of the Italian Dolomites, is the perfect fit for any chocolate pairing. Crisp, refreshing and subtly fruity, this prosecco is certain to leave you in celebratory spirits.

Both white and milk chocolates are a great match for sparkling wine. The fizz can accentuate their creamy and sweet undertones. Our 40% Milk Chocolates offer a particularly charming choice. The underlying fruity notes of our ethically sourced cacao are heightened by the fruity notes of a sparkling wine.

Closeup pouring sparkling wine

Wine and chocolate gifts from Hotel Chocolat

At Hotel Chocolat, we believe that a celebratory tipple coupled with a little chocolate makes for the perfect gift. These two luxury treats are a popular pairing when it comes to gifting and are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. That’s why we’ve picked our favourite chocolate treats, and brought them together with a bottle of Prosecco in our sophisticated Chocolate & Fizz Collection.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a cacao treat to perfectly accompany your favourite wine, why not browse our full range of delectable chocolate? With a huge variety of flavours, blends, shapes and sizes, we’re sure you’ll find a treat destined to make your dream wine and chocolate combination a reality.