In a recent discussion about wine, someone said, by all means, drink the wine of a country with its unique food, but when you are having family food, comfort food – drink Portuguese wines. For many of us, chocolate is the ultimate comfort food, and Port is certainly the ultimate Portuguese wine. The combination is spectacular.
As with any food pairing, the key concept is matching the weight and intensity of the food with that of the wine. With dark, intense chocolate flavours we suggest Graham’s Six Grapes, a Late Bottled Vintage or a younger, ripe-fruit-driven Vintage Port. In fact, when we show these Ports we frequently provide a plain 70% chocolate to our guests.
At two food pairing events in England earlier this year restaurant owners, chefs and sommeliers tried several of our wines with a wide variety of foods. There was no doubt at both venues that our Six Grapes wine was ideal with dark chocolate, in fact the ultimate favourite of one evening was the pairing of Six Grapes and Mini Dark Chocolate Fondants. Your blogger is (frequently!) partial to humble home made chocolate brownies – very dark intense ones – with Six Grapes.
The English tasting groups also enjoyed Quinta dos Malvedos 1998 with a Chocolate Praline dessert, and imagined that a chocolate paired with some kind of brambley flavour would also be good.
With that in mind, we did a little research recently, and made an intense chocolate torte which we served with fresh raspberries and Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos Vintage 1999. The raspberry and chocolate combination together with the rich, plummy intensity and long luscious finish of the wine was out of this world.
Have you tried Ports with chocolates or chocolate desserts? Will you be serving this combination during your holiday and end of year festivities? We would love to have your comments and suggestions here, or if you have photos, please post them with your comments on our Facebook page (link in the margin).