Wine Folly Logo
Watch Wine Videos

Our Honest Review of Chocolate Wine

- Updated

Wine and chocolate, what a popular pairing! I’m too lazy for 2 ingredients though, can you combine them? Chocolate wine.

I just want to toss the lot into my gaping maw and revel in the romance and allure of cupid’s big day.

Chocolate Wine Review

Put that in your mouth and swallow it.

The Chocolate Shop: The Chocolate Lover’s Wine

We were a little skeptical going in (not fans of the idea of wine and chocolate pairing to begin with), but we never expected it to exceed our wildest fears.

Yes. Yes we can.

Chocolate Shop is a red wine infused with chocolate flavors, taking the leg work out of pairing the two. It’s a local product made in Walla Walla, with their main office right here in Seattle. At Wine Folly, we enjoy Washington wines! We love nothing more than supporting and promoting regional wines that maybe don’t get the attention they deserve. But not this stuff. It’s not really even a wine, it just uses wine as a base. It comes across as an evil cauldron of opportunistic greed, blending reddish wine with what smells like tootsie roll essence.

So Why Didn’t That Work Out?

Chocolate and Wine: Awkward Friends

Every year around Valentine’s day, wineries and chocolate shops everywhere feature wine and chocolate pairings. Why do they do this? I haven’t a goddamn clue. Probably to sell you wine and chocolate. Or to give you a date opportunity for your internet sweetheart. Wine and chocolate are both extremely strong, nuanced, powerhouse flavors that demand your attention. The idea behind a pairing is usually to either showcase the star (mild cheese and crackers with wine) or create some exciting synergy (like 5-spice bbq pork with zinfandel!). Wine and chocolate tend to compete for some of the same taste buds, and both leave long-lingering aftertastes and mouth-coatings.

bitter plus bitter makes uber bitter

Can’t You Make It Work?

The sweetness in chocolate makes wine taste sour and in addition, our taste buds reject multiplying bitter flavors together (chocolate bitter added to red wine bitter tannins).

There can be some favorable interactions between the two: a super mellow creamy chocolate like ganache goes excellently with a ruby port. The wine adds dark berry flavor into the mix and an interesting gravelly textural note. A salted chocolate caramel with an Italian Vin Santo passito wine (dried grape wine) acts as a caramel multiplier and it’s fantastic. Both of these examples were where the wine had a higher sweetness than the chocolate. I would also be inclined to try a mole sauce with a shiraz, in this circumstance the focus would be more on the spices in the mole and the chocolate would be more of a background texture (fat).

Here are some pairings we have tried and will allow, but seriously people, just don’t do it.

Wine Folly Approved Wine and Chocolate Pairings:

  • Peanut Butter Cups – Ruby Port, LBV Port, Late Harvest Zinfandel (tastes like xxx PB & J)
  • Milk Chocolate – Muscat (muscat adds a caramel character and makes the milk chocolate taste more creamy)
  • White Zinfandel – Macadamia Nuts with White Chocolate (we know your mom loves white zin, gift opportunity! Still, the wine ends up tasting a little sour)
  • Dark Chocolate – Late harvest Zinfandel, Pedro Ximenez (in an attempt to pick the sweetest sweet wines with the least amount of tannin)
  • White Chocolate – Late Harvest Semillon or Auclese Riesling (most foodies will ding me on recommending white chocolate, because it’s not real chocolate, but these pairings work great!)

Buy the Book - Get the Course!

Get the Wine 101 Course ($29 value) FREE with the purchase of Wine Folly: Magnum Edition.

Learn More

AboutChad Wasser

I live in Seattle, where I touch really fragile things with kid gloves for a living.

Cover Image for The First 4 Wines You Must Try From Bordeaux

The First 4 Wines You Must Try From Bordeaux

It’s difficult to master Bordeaux but not hard get started enjoying this wine region by tasting the four major wine styles.

Read More
Cover Image for Opening 40-Year-Old Wine (Video)

Opening 40-Year-Old Wine (Video)

Opening old vintage wine is a once in a lifetime experience. Here are some things we learned while opening 40 year old wine. Get ready for a few surprises!

Read More
Cover Image for Love Chardonnay? Try Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon (Video)

Love Chardonnay? Try Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon (Video)

For those who love a rich Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon blends are a rare white wine treat worth investigating.

Read More
Cover Image for Getting Started With The Wines of France (Video)

Getting Started With The Wines of France (Video)

Get confident with the wines of France in this introductory seminar. You’ll learn about the 11 major regions and the best wines to explore.

Read More
Cover Image for Serious About Champagne? Here’s How To Taste It

Serious About Champagne? Here’s How To Taste It

Ever wonder how a wine professional assesses Champagne? Madeline walks through a wine tasting with a bottle of vintage Champagne from a notable producer.

Read More
Cover Image for 3 Tips On How to Read a Wine Label

3 Tips On How to Read a Wine Label

Beyond winery, region, and vintage, what else should you look for on a wine label? These tips are a clue to what’s inside the bottle.

Read More