Wine and chocolate: Indulge this Valentine’s…


valentinesday1.jpgThough both chocolates and bottles of wine form a great valentine’s gift, it is combining the two that needs a bit of practice. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner it is perhaps the most opportune moment to try and see how the two can go well with each other. For starters, not many agree that chocolate and wine go very well. Kulpreet Yadav shares his opinion.

But then there are others – like me, for instance – who believe that the two not only go well, but if a few rules are followed right are even made for each other, just like the Valentine’s partner we plan and woo each year.
Let’s begin by knowing a little bit more about Chocolates and wines. Around for centuries, documented evidence suggests that the two were discovered at geographically dissimilar locations. While Chocolate was found by the Aztecs and the Mayans in Latin America, wine were first discovered in Persia, today’s Iran. Called Xocolati by the Mayans, Chocolate, extracted from the Cocoa tree was considered as a substance of fertility. On the other hand, when first discovered, the goodness of the wine put its consumer to sleep so sound that next day the world seemed to be a nicer place to live in.
When Kylie Minogue sang her hit single ‘chocolate’ in 2004, she chanted a fascinating comparison between chocolate and the way a woman feel…
“If love were human it would know me
In a lost space come and show me,
Hold me and control me
And then melt me slowly down
Like Chocolate …”
And George Bernard Shaw about wine was all matter of fact, “A man of the caliber of mine cannot derive its nutriment form cows”. Juxtaposed, both chocolate and wine fires up a sure-passion in both the genders as they have their choices of love potions clear. Enough reason for us to see how chocolates go well with wine; and when not, where the real challenge lies when pairing.
Let’s start with the problem areas first. Most say the cocoa butter tends to layer the tongue and palate thereby clouding the taste receptors. True! The best way to overcome this is to taste the wine first to get the impression right. Then taste the chocolates. To cut through the buttery feel in the mouth, the wine should be ideally fizzy or should have enough tinge in terms of astringency to cut through the layer. Sparkling Zinfandel Blush and Syrah make a good pair with nutty chocolates. Both are made by many Indian companies and easily available in most wine shops. It is also a good idea to pair lighter flavoured chocolates with lighter bodied wines and ones with intense flavours with fuller bodied wines. But as always, there is no gospel rule here – pick and chose what suits your individual taste, or more importantly, what appeals to the taste buds of your girlfriend. While pairing with a chocolate dessert, it is good to follow the rule of the thumb; the wine would be sweeter than the dessert. In this case it is obviously the Chocolate. If you choose to pair after a meal, Port style wines go very well indeed with all types of chocolates.
So, friends this time around enjoy the Valentine’s with a sweet tooth. Not only will you succeed in melting your girlfriend’s inhibitions (oops!), your mind will sure get the nutriment it always seemed to be in pursuit. So, here’s saying cheers, fellas!

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