By Food & Wine
Updated March 31, 2015
Matching Chocolate & Wine
Photo courtesy of Lindt.

When you enjoy decadent chocolate alongside a wine specially selected to bring out all its nuanced flavors, you create a delicious experience for all the senses. To find an ideal pairing, start by selecting a dark chocolate, which has a greater intensity and more complex flavors than other chocolate varieties. Then look for a wine with a similar body and complementary taste profiles (for instance a bright, citrus-scented chocolate with a floral white wine, or a dark, spicy chocolate with a heavier-bodied red). Savor the rich taste of the chocolate as it starts to melt in your mouth, and then slowly sip from your glass. As the two combine on your palate, the intricate flavors of each will be elevated, creating an entirely new taste experience.

A refreshing chilled white wine like a sweet Riesling is the perfect pairing for Lindt EXCELLENCE Intense Orange. The silky dark chocolate brightened with citrus is a wonderful complement to the lychee, pear, orange, and floral notes of the wine.

Reach for a light-bodied red like Pinot Noir to match with Lindt EXCELLENCE A Touch of Sea Salt. Made with delicate, hand-harvested Fleur de Sel sea salt crystals that give it a pleasant crunch, this dark chocolate beautifully complements the earthy and smoky flavors of a good bottle of Pinot.

For an adventurous combination with a little heat, try Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili alongside a glass of Syrah. Look for a juicy vintage with deep, ripe berry notes and a spicy finish. Enjoyed together with the sweetly perfumed dark chocolate infused with fiery red chili, the two create a spicy warmth that bursts onto the palate. Another distinctive coupling that’s too good to miss is a fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon with Lindt EXCELLENCE 70%. The aromatic dark, ripe fruit flavors meld harmoniously with the chocolate’s sophisticated notes of tobacco, roasted nuts, and leather.

Enjoy these chocolate and wine pairings on their own, or use all four as the menu for a stress-free holiday party. Simply break the chocolate into pieces, pile them on pretty platters or in bowls, and set the partnered wines pairing next to each. Then sample them with your guests in the lightest-to-darkest progression above so you can build on the depth and complexity of the flavor profiles. You can also make pairing and sharing your love of dark chocolate even easier with the new Lindt EXCELLENCE individually wrapped chocolate diamonds. Perfect for enjoying on your own, sharing with friends, or with your favorite wine pairing.

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