We paired wine and chocolate for Valentine’s Day the Sunday Sipper Club!
You can watch our Live Video Wine Tasting above — click on the arrow to play.
Join is for our next tasting this Sunday at 6 pm eastern right here:
Sip with you soon!
In this second Facebook Live Video Wine Tasting above, we also chat about pairing wine with chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
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Here’s a sampling of lively discussion from our tasting …
Paul E Hollander · 0:00 Dinner is served! The video cast was interesting this evening, a great subject. I’ve seen the Fonseca Port at either our local wine shop or Costco. Will be getting a bottle soon. A very Happy Valentines Day to you.
Chocolates from Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut:
David was born on 13th October, 1965, in Oporto, Portugal. He represents the sixth generation of Guimaraens to be involved in the Port business.
After completing his schooling in Portugal and England, David spent time gaining hands-on wine making experience in Australia, California and Oregon before undertaking formal education in œnology at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia. After graduating he remained in Australia to gain additional experience before returning to Portugal in 1990 to join the Fonseca wine making team.
Since 1991 David has played a leading role in the production of Fonseca’s wines and in the development of its wineries and vineyards. As Technical Director and head wine maker David leads the team responsible for wine making on the Fonseca estate. The research and development work carried out under David’s leadership has resulted in new vinification technology which has radically enhanced the quality of the wines.
David also works closely with head of viticulture, António Magalhães, one of the Douro’s most respected viticulturists and a world authority on mountain viticulture, in managing and developing the Fonseca vineyard estates. Together they have created an award winning sustainable vineyard model which is set to become the standard for environmentally responsible viticulture in the Douro Valley.
David has a number of extraordinary wines to his credit and is regarded as one of the most gifted wine makers in the Port industry.
Fonseca Porto Bin 27, Douro Valley, Portugal: This full-bodied dessert wine offers aromas and flavours of fleshy purple and black plums with blackberry liqueur. Layered and rich. Food pairings: chocolate and berry fruit dishes. Drink: 2014 – 2025 325506 20% S 750 mL $16.95 Score: 92/100. February 2017. Best Value Red Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Dalva Port 2010, Douro D.O.P., Portugal: This dessert wine is a classic late bottled vintage port with flavours of black and purple plum. Ready to drink much earlier than traditional vintage-dated ports yet sharing many of the same aromas and flavours. Pair with Black Forest cake. Port food pairings: crème brûlée, fruit-based desserts, pastries, fresh field berries in cream. Drink: 2012 – 2018 169755 20% S 750 mL $19.95 Score: 89/100. February 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Poças Jr. Late Bottle Vintage Port 2009, Douro D.O.P., Portugal: An attractive after-dinner dessert wine: this fortified port is made in the Late Bottled Vintage style so it doesn’t have to be aged, like Vintage ports do. Aromas of blackberry jam. Pair with Black Forest Cake. Port food pairings: blue cheeses, chocolate mousse, fresh fruit. Drink: 2016 – 2022 642058 20.2% S 750 mL $25.95 Score: 90/100. February 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Taylor Fladgate First Estate Reserve Port, Douro, Portugal: Taylor Fladgate’s First Estate features the house signature of concentrated dark fruit with great balance and length. This dessert wine is a blend of youthful red wines produced in the Cima Corgo region, then aged several years in oak barrels. Intense ruby hue. Aromas of cassis, blackcurrant, black plum and star anise. Firm tannins. Pair with star anise chocolate and hard cheeses. Taylor’s First Estate Port celebrates the producer’s first vineyard purchase Casa dos Alambiques at Lugar das Lages in the upper Douro Valley back in 1744. Drink: 2016 – 2023 309401 19% S 750 mL $17.15 Score: 90/100. February 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Sandeman Ruby Port, Douro, Portugal Drink: 2015 – 2018 23366 19% S 750 mL $15.45 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Graham’s Late Bottled Vintage Port 2011, Douro Valley, Portugal: Stunningly great dessert wine for the money! Aromas of blackberry liqueur and cassis jam. Smooth and supple. Pair with Black Forest Cake. Drink: 2013 – 2022 191239 20% S 750 mL $17.25 Score: 90/100. February 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Warre’s Vintage Port 1980, Douro, Portugal: A gorgeous black-violet hue in the glass. This classic vintage-dated port offers aromas of blackcurrant, cassis and dark spice. Long finish. Drink: 1995 – 2025 747022 20% S 750 mL $120.00 Score: 94/100. February 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Lillet Rouge, Gironde, France: Serve this aperitif wine well chilled. Drink: 2016 – 2020 249482 17% S 750 mL $18.95 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Dow’s Colheita Port 1997, Douro, Portugal: This lovely fortified dessert wine was estate bottled in 2007. It was aged 10 years before being released from the winery, much like 10-Year-Old Tawy Ports are, and it too does not require decanting as there is not sediment. However, a Colheita Port differs from a Tawny in that a Colheita is made from the grapes grown in a single vineyard, rather than a blend of several vineyards. This offers aromas of black fruit, vanilla spice, coffee and chocolate. A rich, luxurious port with layers of toffee, nuts and caramel on the finish. Drink: 2007 – 2024 69906 20% S 750 mL $32.95 Score: 92/100. February 2017. Top Rated Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Fonseca Porto White Port, Douro, Portugal: I was surprised at this port mostly because I haven’t tried many of the white variety. (I love tawny!) Makes a lovely after-dinner drink to sip on its own or with biscotti or fruit-based desserts. White Port food pairings: aperitif, over ice with tonic and mint, almonds. Drink: 2016 – 2022 276816 20% S 750 mL $16.95 Score: 89/100. February 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Warre’s Otima 10-Year-Old Tawny Port, Douro, Portugal: Rich and layered with notes of dried plums, dark spice and toffee. Perfect for toffee and caramel chocolates. Drink: 2016 – 2025 566174 20% S 500 mL $25.75 Score: 89/100. February 2017. Best Value Dessert Wine Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
How to Make a Fonseco Guimaraens White Port and Tonic
To make a delicious drink…
Place 3-4 cubes of ice in a long drink glass
Fill 1/2 the glass with chilled Fonseca Guimaraens White Port
Top with tonic water
Add a few leaves of fresh mint or a slice of lemon.
Relax and enioy!
Baileys Irish Cream, Ireland Drink: 2016 – 2021 5959 17% S 750 mL $29.95 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Sortilège Maple Cream, Quebec, Canada Drink: 2016 – 2020 352021 17% S 750 mL $27.95 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Baileys Irish Cream Almande, Ireland Drink: 2016 – 2021 455428 17% S 750 mL $31.95 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Baileys Salted Caramel, Ireland Drink: 2016 – 2021 400259 17% S 750 mL $28.95 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
Apothic Inferno Red Apothic 2014, California, United States Drink: 2014 – 2018 485623 16% D 750 mL $17.95 February 2017. Full Review Add to Shopping Cart
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 interactive Wine & Food Matcher so that you pick any one of 50 types of chocolate, from ice cream to fudge to Hershey’s Kisses, and get suggestions for types of wines that will work.
Click on the button called “desserts” to find pairings for chocolate mud pie to chocolate cheesecake. These same pairings are also in my free mobile apps.
I recommend muscat and Sauternes for light chocolate mousse whereas my picks for dark chocolate mousse would be demi-sec champagne and vin santo.
Top 10 Wine and Chocolate Matches:
1. Dark chocolate with Banyuls, a red-tinted dessert wine from France’s Rhone Valley.
2. Chocolate-covered biscotti with Recioto Della Valpolicella, a sweet version of Italy’s classic Valpolicella, made from grapes that are allowed to dry and shrivel like raisins before they’re pressed.
3. Chocolate-orange cake with Australian muscat, aka a “sticky,” the Australian term for an ultra-sweet wine made from the muscat grape.
4. Chocolate and nuts with tawny port, a fortified wine from Portugal that is aged in barrel until the color turns from red to tawny.
5. Milk chocolate with Tokaji, the legendary wine of Hungary, once a favorite of the kings of Europe.
6. Bittersweet chocolate with Amarone, a super-rich red wine from Italy’s Veneto reigon. (Yes, Amarone is relatively dry, but so is bittersweet chocolate.)
7. Chocolate-dipped fruit with ice wine, a sweet white made from grapes that are allowed to freeze on the vine before they’re pressed.
8. Chocolate truffles with Sauternes, France’s most famous dessert wine, from the Bordeaux region.
9. Chocolate raspberry cheesecake with Framboise, a sweet fruit wine made from raspberries.
10. Cream-filled chocolate hearts with cream sherry — yes, as in Harvey’s Bristol Cream.
For more wine and chocolate pairing articles, click on the tag above called “Chocolate & Wine” …