Top 10 Chocolate & Wine Pairings for Valentine’s Day

Pairing wine and chocolate is not as difficult as it sounds … though it can require a little more thought than dishes that are more wine-friendly. The debate rages on which type of wines red, white, sparkling, dessert) to pair with which type of chocolate (milk, dark, mousse, white). There are actually combinations of dry wines and sweet types of chocolate that taste terrible together. The rule of thumb for all desserts: the wine should be sweeter than the dessert, otherwise the wine will taste bitter by comparison. I’ve developed a comprehensive list of wine and chocolate pairings in my […]

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50 Ways to Keep Your Lover: Matching Wine and Chocolate

50 Ways to Keep Your Lover this Valentine’s Day Want to seduce someone this Valentine’s Day? Just share a glass of wine (or three) with your sweetheart. Wine is liquid sensuality: Its heady bouquet stimulates the appetite and its velvet caress soothes that desire. What other drink is described as both ‘voluptuous’ and ‘muscular’? And when you pair wine with the mouth-coating luxury of chocolate, the combination is impossible to resist. The creamy flavors of chocolate go best with sweet, full-bodied, high-alcohol wines. Find wines to complement 50 chocolate dishes in my matching tool at www.nataliemaclean.com/matcher. Just click on “desserts” […]

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Days of Roses and Red Wine: A New App for Your Valentine

By Olivia Villalta Valentine’s Day and roses go hand in hand. Want to tell someone you love them? Roses. Want to show someone you missed them? Roses. Want to get out of the dog house? Roses. But there’s more to these flowers than a beautiful gesture, composed in an elegant vase. Let me share some secrets with you on how to plan the perfect date night using roses in some surprising and creative ways. First, you’ll need two bouquets… one red, for your loved one, and one with a rainbow of many colours, just for fun. The Perfect Delivery With […]

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Wine Buying and Pairing for Valentine’s Day and Beyond

You’re asking me what’s the way to a woman’s heart? Forget flowers and candy … I’d like Pinot Noir please! Wine is the drink of conversation. You’re usually over a glass of wine watching each other, you’re talking, it’s over an evening, it lasts a long time, just like love should. Think about it. You don’t give a six-pack of beer for Valentine’s Day; you give a bottle of wine and often a bottle of sparkling wine and flowers or chocolates. It’s meant to be shared. It’s meant to be savoured slowly. But which bottle do you buy? How much […]

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Video: Valentine’s Day Wine and Chocolate Pairings

In the video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho shares his tips for pairing wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day and any other time of the year when you want to indulge. He knows his sweet stuff having won gold at the Culinary Olympics in the categories of sugar, chocolate, wedding cakes and dessert presentation. How did you train for the culinary Olympics? Your secrets to making great chocolate? What is the strangest chocolate sculpture you’ve created? Tell me about some of your specialized tools for making chocolate: induction burners, ganache frames, guitars, robot-coupes, heat guns and automatic enrobers? […]

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Wine + Chocolate Killer Combos: Valentine’s Day Video

In our second video chat above, Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho reveals more of his secrets for pairing wine and chocolate, especially for Valentine’s Day. He’s also designed some lovely chocolate creations, and suggests rosemary-infused chocolate with habanero sea salt as an aprodisiac that pairs amazingly well with prosciutto and cheese (and a bear skin rug in front of a blazing fireplace) … What are your tips on pairing solid chocolate with wine? How about chocolate with raspberry or blackberry filling? How about Valentine’s Day? Anything special for the chocolate versus chocolate we enjoy at other times of the […]

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Liquor up Your Lover on Valentine’s Day

I’ll be chatting with the hosts of the CBC radio drive-home shows from coast to coast this Thursday and Friday about wines for Valentine’s Day. But we’re going to depart from the usual natter about which wines are most seductive or how to pair them with chocolate. We’ll go straight to the heart of the matter: how do you liquor up your lover on February 14? More specifically, we’ll talk about why wines are getting more alcoholic these days and how does that affect their taste and ours? Is this just a cultural trend of winemakers responding to the market? Is […]

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Romantic Pairing: Wine and Chocolate

In this month’s Costco Connection Lifestyle Magazine I chat with the editor about my favourite wine and chocolate pairings for Valentine’s Day. Here are my favourite wines for chocolate in liquor stores now. While many of us like to think we’re going to be creative with our Valentine’s Day gifts this year, let’s be honest. On February 13, we’re going to rush out and purchase our favourite standbys: wine and chocolate. And why shouldn’t we? Everybody likes this duo; they’re wildly delicious and indulgent, and they usually lead to a good time (insert suggestive eyebrow raise here). But what you […]

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Liquid Seduction: 9 Wines for your Valentine

Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker. Wine has long been associated with romance. Here are my top 10 wines for Valentine’s Day, not only because of their sexy names, but also because the wine in the bottle is equally as seductive.   Fifty Shades Of Grey Red Satin 2011 California, United States No mention of the book that inspired this wine, but no matter, it was launched this month as the liquid seduction tie-in to the book. Of course, there are lots of aromas of fresh and tanned leather on the nose and it’s voluptuously full-bodied … Natalie’s full […]

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Pairing Wine with Spicy, Sweet and Sour Dishes for Chinese New Year and Beyond

Whether you’re celebrating the Chinese New Year, or love Chinese fare year round, here are tips on pairing those dishes with wine. North Americans now enjoy a much broader and diverse fare that often includes a wide range of ethnic cuisines. The challenge? Although there are a number of spicy entrees in Chinese cuisine, there are also many with sweet and sour nuances, so choose a wine that can handle both. My favourite is off-dry Riesling from either Canada or Germany because it has a touch of sweetness, but it also has the acidity to go with the sour element […]

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