Valentine’s Day Pairing: Does Wine or Beer Pair Best with Chocolate?

Wine and chocolate: what’s more romantic than that? As Valentine’s Day approaches, it’s time to consider which wines – and beers – go well with chocolate. However, just like not all white wines taste the same, not all chocolate is created equal. The differences between milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate just skim the surface of that subject. Specific types of chocolate taste better with different wines and beers. Here are a few good pairings to help you plan your Valentine’s Day menu:

Wine & Chocolate

According to “Food and Wine” magazine, the best wines to pair with chocolate are full-bodied red wines, like Zinfandels, or rich, blended wines from California. They also offer a few more specific suggestions, such as pairing chocolate-covered popcorn with a sparkling red wine like Banfi’s Rosa Regale and pairing a chocolate brownie with a Ruby Port, and matching filled chocolates with an exotic Madeira. Some advise pairing Sherry with white chocolate; a glass of Pinot Noir with a chocolate that’s half-cocoa, half-milk; and putting Champagne together with the mild milk chocolate.

Beer & Chocolate

Pairing beer with chocolate is a little more complicated than pairing with wine, but it’s by no means impossible. According to The Kitchn.com, stout and dark chocolate are an ideal pairing. “Maryland Life” magazine suggests serving Belgian-style pale ale with orange-filled truffles. They also suggest an amber lager with a salted, dark chocolate caramel. In Maryland and elsewhere around the United States, beer and chocolate tastings are becoming increasingly popular. Get as crazy as you want with it and try an oatmeal stout with a high-end peanut butter cup.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to ingest your beer and chocolate separately. There are several chocolate beers on the market, including Samuel Adams Chocolate Bock, Rogue Chocolate Stout and Belgium’s Ommegang Brewery’s Chocolate Indulgence. It’s a dessert in a glass!

Chocolate, an adult beverage and love are a natural Valentine’s Day combination. Plan ahead this year and dazzle your sweetheart on February 14th with one of these tasty pairings.