Easter means eggs. Chocolate eggs. And there are lots out there in the shops at the moment. Dark chocolate eggs, milk chocolate eggs, eggs filled with Smarties and even chocolate eggs filled with liqueur chocolates. But come the final egg count this Sunday there will be two important questions to answer: “Which one to unwrap first?”, and “What wine will match all that chocolate?”.
That’s a difficult one. Wine isn’t a natural match to chocolate. Its mouth-coating intenseness can overwhelm many wines. Once the tongue has tasted anything really sweet it’s difficult for it to identify subtler fruity flavours, like those found in wine. And should you prefer your eggs made from dark chocolate then finding a suitable match will be all the harder – choose unwisely and both wine and chocolate will clash leaving behind an unpleasant metallic taste.
But there are wines that elevate both food and drink to the next level of taste experience.
Vintage port and Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon harmonise wonderfully with dark chocolate to produce deep spicy notes. While milk chocolate reduces the acidity of oaked whites making the resulting blend taste smooth and yoghurty.
Truffle and liqueur fillings need matching with equally rich wines: try Sherry, Marsala and Madeira. With higher alcohol content than normal, these Mediterranean wines taste naturally sweet and so your palate will taste both wine and chocolate equally well.
PG Wine Reviews
Mount Rozier South African The Wild Peacock Chardonnay 2016
£6 Sainsbury’s (down from £7 until April 14)
A nice rounded Chardonnay with apple, almond and creamy melon flavours. The label is really pretty too.
The Big Mo’ Australian Viognier 2016
£9.99 Virgin Wines
A great wine to match with rich dishes of all kinds – whether sweet or savoury. Creamy lime, pineapple and banana flavours plus aromas of peach and daffodils. Try with chicken and leek pie or milk chocolate buttons.
Chapel Down English Rosé 2015, Tenterden Vineyards
£10 Sainsbury’s, £10.99 Ocado
A pale salmon pink rosé with flavours of strawberry sauce.
Errazuriz Max Reserva Chilean Chardonnay 2016
£12 Sainsbury’s, £12.99 Roberts and Speight (independents in Beverley, Yorkshire)
It’s hard to go wrong with any wine from the Chilean producer Errazuriz and this wine meets that challenge: aromas and flavours of lemon, honey, pear and fifty pence pieces.
Finca Mazanos Spanish Rioja Blanco Voché 2014
£13.99 Virgin Wines
This blend of Chardonnay and Viura grape varieties results in a creamy wine with fruity apple and lemon flavours.
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© Paula Goddard 2017 www.paulagoddard.com