What to drink with chocolate
For The Associated Press
On Valentine’s Day, true love tends to speak in chocolate. But what works well when time to toast to that love?
“A good rule of thumb when pairing chocolate with a beverage is to look for one that is very low in tannins as well as acidity,” says Thierry Muret, executive chef for Godiva Chocolatier.
Sweet white wines, such as a sauternes or a banyuls, are very popular. Prefer red? Muret suggests a 2004 Hess cabernet sauvignon. As for sparkling?
“Pairing Champagne with a chocolate covered strawberry or a strawberry truffle is a delicious way to indulge,” he says.
Brandy and cognac also are great matches for dark chocolate because the alcohol content is not as high as in other spirits. And aged rum works well with caramel chocolates.
“Since rum’s base is sugar cane and it has a lot of brown notes, it’s a perfect complement to milk chocolate pieces with caramel fillings,” he says. For nutty chocolates, such as pralines, go for a single blend scotch whiskey.
And while coffee seems like a natural with chocolate, be careful: Muret says it is one of the more difficult pairings. “When selecting a coffee, note the origin, the roast level and way that it’s brewed.
“Some coffee can be acidic and bitter, so in general, it’s best paired with milk chocolate pieces. I find coffee that is Guatemalan in origin an interesting match for chocolate,” he says.
When it comes to tea, it gets the same rule as wine. Stick to teas that are low in tannins, such as white teas or flower teas, such as verbena or French mint.