Wine and chocolate
With Chocolate the sky is the limit
Four experts put their noses together: Dominique Persoone, Guido Francque, Patrick Devos, Wouter De Bakker
To find out what wine goes with a chocolate product, you have to discover the ingredients that are used to make the chocolates.
Dominique Persoone from Chocolate Line, Bruges, believes the sky is the limit: he uses all kinds of flavours.
What is the procedure? First of all taste the wine as you normally would. Next take a bite of chocolate, let the tastes merge in your mouth and round off the proceedings with a sip or two of wine.
Try to discover: the culinary raw materials (ingredients), the origin of the chocolate and the type of wine. If you would like to taste them at home the chocolates mentioned (from the Belcolade company) are available from specialist shops.
1. Praline with asparagus and asparagus chips
Chocolate: Costa Rica milk collection, using 38% cocoa solids
Wine: Jose Pariente Verdejo 2005, Dos Victorias, Rueda.
A bar of chocolate may accompany an asparagus dish. That is the first thing we see. This light wine concludes with a bitter finish similar to the one in the chocolate. A fine combination.
2. Praline with liquorice and cherries.
Chocolate: 64% Costa Rica Dark Collection.
Wine: Wine from the Drome region ET-G 2004, Le Plan Estate.
Made from pure grenache, with a sweet nuance, it is perfect with liquorice and the succulence of cherries. The chocolate absorbs the tannins.
3. Praline with bou d'fagne and apricot
Chocolate: 43%Venezuela Milk Collection
Wine: Tokaji Aszu 4 Puttonyos 2000, Château Megyer.
Bou d'fagne is a goat's cheese. This continues to ripen so it has to be treated very delicately. An unusual and somewhat tricky combination.
4. Chocolate with rose and black pepper
Chocolate: Caramel and White Milk Selection with candied cumquats
Wine: Moscatel Soleado 2004, Guttiéres Colosia, D.O. Jerez.
Sweet and sweet is a permissible pairing. The main flavour is provided by the cumquats but the seasoning also makes an outstanding contribution. A fine harmony.
5. Praline with candied garlic in olive oil and chicory
Chocolate: 64% Costa Rica Dark Collection
Wine: Don PX Gran Reserva 1979, Toro Albala, Montilla-Moriles.
The most controversial combination. A blend of flavours that surprising enough go remarkably well together: garlic, olive oil and chicory. The sherry adds an extra dimension, while the coffee creates a bridge between the garlic and chocolate.