Easter Eggs, Chocolate and Wine





Being such altruistic souls, the team at CellarVie Wines felt duty bound to polish their palates in order to discover the best wine to go with chocolate Easter Eggs, Bunnies and the excessive token chocolate paraphernalia coming your way this weekend.
 
Last Friday, armed with some of the most widely available types of chocolate, we opened a couple of bottles of wine with the aim of providing a few tips to titillate the taste buds this Easter.

While our respective notion of good chocolate differed; some preferred Galaxy to Dairy Milk, Dark Chocolate to a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, there was some consensus as to the best wine matches.
 
Generally there are some simple rules to wine and chocolate matching. The first one, admittedly, is that it is a difficult match and perhaps a sacrilegious one for the purist wine drinker, but to those not that way inclined, it can certainly be an enjoyable one.

As a general rule of thumb, your palate (not your waistline) is best served by sweeter or pudding wines with higher levels of alcohol like Port, or sweet Sherry, perhaps a Pineau des Charentes or Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.
 
 
Picture by Handolio
 
Dark chocolate is a lovely partner with Port or with darker, sweeter Sherries such as a Sweet Oloroso or Pedro Ximenez. It also works well with a fruity, big red wine such as an Australian Shiraz or even a sparkling Shiraz, as the tannins in the wine really complement the bitterness of dark chocolate. For the more adventurous, some of the office enjoyed the combination of the sweet Italian red Recioto di Valpolicella, particularly when paired with Lindt 70% or Green & Black’s

If you are a milk or white chocolate lover we would recommend you go for a sweet white, a white Port or a sweet Sherry. Sauternes works really well with milk chocolate as does a Sweet Sherry like Croft Original. Milk Chocolate needs something with a bit of acidity so again a Sauternes would work or a sweet Semillon from the Loire.

So here are our thoughts on the best matches for this Easter having tasted a range of dark and milk chocolate from Green & Black’s and Cadbury’s, plus a few staff favourites; Maltesers, Chocolate Buttons, Galaxy and Lindor milk (the ones in the red wrappers).

The wines we tried:

Recioto di Valpolicella 2006, Bolla (£9.99)

Sauternes Les Garonnelles 2007, Lucien Lurton et Fils (£11.99)

Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Cave des Vignerons NV (£8.99)

The best matches according to the few not distracted by the mountains of chocolate were the following: -

Christopher likes the Sauternes with Maltesers and the Recioto with the 70% Green & Black’s

Nigel loved the Sauternes with Galaxy Milk

Jon, with his famous sweet tooth, adored the Sauternes with everything – especially the Lindor.

Eliott thought the Muscat de Beaumes de Venise worked well with the Green & Black’s Milk chocolate and the Recioto with the Green & Black’s 70% Dark.

Simon kicked it up a notch by bringing in his guilty pleasure which was Willie's Cacao 70% Venezuelan Dark Chocolate. Simon aka the right honourable Mr Robins felt his regularly scoffed chocolate worked best with the Recioto.


In reality, Easter should be a time of carefree indulgence and although some wines work better with chocolate it tends to be determined by the individual, so why not throw caution to the wind on Sunday by opening a sweet tipple and discover for yourself.   
 Picture by John Loo
  
[Main Image by Asti21]  
 

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