A Guide to Chocolate and Wine Pairing by Drinks Expert Tom Bell

Did you know that pairing chocolate with wine can heighten the flavours and qualities in both delicacies? With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we are delighted to have Tom Bell, drinks expert and founder of DrinkWell UK, share his top tips for pairing wine with chocolate.

About DrinkWell

DrinkWell is a small Manchester based brand and is home of lower-calorie alcohol. We source the best quality wines, beer and spirits in this space from independent winemakers around the world, boutique breweries and small distilleries. 

What to consider when pairing wine and chocolate

When you are pairing chocolate and wine together, there are a few best practices to follow to enhance the experience. While it’s easy enough to jump straight in, you first want to think about the wine’s flavour and acidity, as well as the chocolate’s intensity, sweetness and texture. Wine and chocolate have a lot of similarities: they both contain polyphenols, antioxidants, flavanols and tannins. Some people will say the similarities make pairing chocolate and wine difficult, I say they just haven’t matched them correctly! You need to be particular about what chocolate and wine you pair together.

For a general rule of success, you want to pair chocolates and wines that have similar intensities, for example, less intensely flavoured chocolates will pair nicely with lighter-bodied wines. Chocolates with more intense flavours, on the other hand, will go better with fuller-bodied wines. 

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is an incredibly versatile type of chocolate. It’s one that you can get away with pairing with a few different types of wines because it has a good balance of flavours. Let’s say I was looking for a wine to pair with the LoveRaw M:lk Choc Cre&m Wafer Bar,I would opt for a wine that is just as versatile as milk chocolate like Pinot Noir. 

With sweet fruity notes, the characteristics of a Pinot Noir make a great match to milk chocolate’s smoothness. I recommend pairing milk chocolate with the vegan Monstable Pinot Noir. As a lighter-bodied red wine, this is lower in tannins with subtly fruity flavours that will really enhance the flavour of milk chocolate. Monstable also has a silky smooth texture to match the Smooth Choc M:lk Bar. These equal textures will make a delicate and creamy pairing. 

White Chocolate 

Pairing white chocolate and wine is when the general rule of success really comes into practice. Remember, the lighter the chocolate, the lighter the wine. White chocolate tends to be sweeter so you’ll want to pair it with a dry white wine like Sauvingnon Blanc. Dry wines are naturally lighter in flavour meaning the wine won’t overpower the flavour of the white chocolate. If you are looking for a white wine to pair with any of LoveRaw’s vegan white chocolate, I highly recommend Traces Sauvingnon Blanc. Not only is this wine also 100% vegan, it contains zero sugar, therefore is fresh, aromatic and well balanced. Traces Sauvingnon Blanc is a refreshing contrast to the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate.

Caramel  Chocolate 

Chocolate that comes with a filling tends to be much sweeter and richer, especially when it’s caramel, so you’ll want to pair it with a wine that matches the intensity. Make sure to consider the base chocolate too. I would match caramel chocolate with a full-bodied red wine like a merlot. Full-bodied red wines are best known for their rich and complex flavours and they usually have higher tannins than other wines. The higher tannins in a Merlot can help cut through the sweetness of the chocolate and ultimately will enhance the caramel flavours. If you’re looking for a wine to pair with the Peanut Caramel Bar, I recommend the highly popular Running Duck Organic Merlot we stock at DrinkWell. This vegan-friendly Merlot is a blend of blackcurrant and black pepper aromas, whilst on the palette is where the plum and black cherry flavour come through. 


What makes our wine at DrinkWell so great for pairing LoveRaw chocolate with, is that a huge selection of our wines are vegan friendly.  If you would like to find out more about what alcohol is vegan, you can read about it in our blog here.

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