Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lindt Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience

I love chocolate. I'm also known to enjoy the odd glass of wine. But putting the two together ? Hmmm not totally convinced, I have to admit. That's nevertheless the new "exquisite flavour experience" that Lindt encouraged me to enjoy, sending me through their wine and chocolate pairing kit.

 In honour of Chocolate Week last month, I had been invited along to a special event organised by Lindt with Master Chocolatier, Stefan Bruderer and Master of Wine, Sarah Jane Evans. They were going to present the reasons behind the pairings and share useful insight about the flavour combinations, ensuring everyone would leave knowing how to taste like an expert. I couldn't make it to the event but they kindly sent me through a press pack to try it out from the comfort of my own home. OK, I'm willing to give it a go !

Lindt explain : "The exquisite flavours and quality of the cocoa found in LINDT Excellence range make it the ideal chocolate for pairing with wine. The deeply satisfying, earthy taste of perfectly roasted cocoa beans found in the Excellence range along with the berry, citrus and floral notes found in both chocolate and wine, make for a perfect match.

The box contained two dinky bottles of wine - a white (Jacob's Creek Cool Harvest Sauvignon Blanc) and a red (Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet) - plus a selection of Lindt Excellence chocolate samples - Dark 70% cocoa, Dark 85% cocoa, Dark Orange Intense, Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt, Dark Mint Intense, Extra Fondant Extra Creamy. I decided to get (French) Madhouse Daddy Mike in on the sampling as there were two of each chocolate taster and he was more perturbed about the wine being Australian than the fact that we were were pairing wine and chocolate ! (He did agree that the wine was very nice though, once he'd tasted it !)

Lindt have produced a handy video for introducing you to the idea of chocolate and wine pairing which is a good place to start :

Well, that makes sense actually. I usually eat milk chocolate which is why I think I couldn't see it working with wine, especially red, but the dark, slightly bitter flavours probably would complement the complex, earthy flavours of dark chocolate. Time to find out.

I grabbed my tasting notes and the dark chocolate, which - as I suspected - was paired with the red wine. The handy guide says : "To best enjoy the pairings, we suggest first taking a small bite of the chocolate. By doing this, you can ensure that the initial temperature in the mouth is appreciated, causing the chocolate to melt slightly as you enjoy it. Then you should take a sip of the wine and enjoy the fantastic taste experience which is created by the mingling of all the flavours".

I thought the flavour of the red wine would totally overpower the chocolate, but the high cocoa content of the dark chocolate means that you can taste the slightly bitter chocolate flavour coming through, which nicely offsets the fruity tang of the wine. Having been convinced by this pairing, I can now say that I'd like to try their "only for the brave" matching of a woody and earthy Claret with Dark Chilli chocolate - I can see this working well and really playing with your taste buds.

The Orange, Mint and Creamy Milk chocolate were all paired with the lighter, crisper white wine and, again, I was suprprised to see that it does work well. I always think of white wine being sweet but it is sharper than the chocolate so the sweetness of the chocolate mellows the taste of the wine and adds an extra sweetness.

It was at this point that I realised we'd forgotten to taste the Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt chocolate with the red wine, but as we'd gone on to white wine, I decided to just eat the chocolate on its own. I have to say, I did really enjoy the experience too ! 

I won't be drinking wine with chocolate as a regular event but it was nice to know that, at a dinner party for example, chocolate and chocolate desserts can be served with wine, rather than being saved for the coffee. It would make a great talking point for finishing the meal too.

for more information :

Disclosure : I received a press box containing wine and chocolate to discover the wine pairing experience.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Crispello review


  1. oh no can't imagine wine with chocolate - got to be Coffee in a big mug with chocolate x

  2. Well when I have friends over dinner, we sometimes continue to drink red wine when we have a chocolate flavoured pudding
    I think this Lindt experience makes sense!

  3. Wine and chocolate - sounds good to me - love lindt!