IT’S Easter, which means one thing… chocolate easter eggs!
But it doesn’t have to be just a holiday treat for the kids.
When you get the spare moment to indulge yourself, try pairing your favourite bar with the perfect matching vino.
After all, chocolate and wine have more in common than you would think. Both are considered aphrodisiacs, contain flavanols (antioxidants) and both should be enjoyed responsibly.
Confusingly, white chocolate is not actually chocolate at all.
It is in fact cocoa fat, which means it has a more buttery and creamy flavour profile.
A wine with a good level of acidity will therefore cut through the fat and balance the overall mouthful.
Moscato d’Asti is a sweet semi-sparkling wine, produced in Piedmont region of northwest Italy. A deliciously aromatic wine with peach and floral notes with that all important acidic backbone.
A great choice for anyone looking for a lower alcohol alternative, plus the bubbles add an extra touch of luxury to proceedings.
If super sweet is not your thing and you would prefer to drink a drier style of wine, then a fruit forward, ripe and soft style like Merlot or Zinfandel is your friend.
While not technically sweet, the plush fruit flavours give a similar sensation on the palate which offers a counterbalance to the sugar in the chocolate.
Merlot with its black cherry and plum enhances the cacao, while a good quality Zinfandel gives a hearty dose of jammy blueberry with a hint of sweet spice.
The higher the percentage of cacao and bitterness, the more tannic and bold a wine needs to be.
Sweet and strong are the calling characteristics of port which is made by halting the fermentation of red or white wine by adding a neutral spirit. The process leaves the natural sugar of the grapes unfermented, producing a sweeter, high-alcohol wine.
While there are several styles of port, from ruby to vintage to tawny, a bottle with Late Bottled Vintage on the label offers a good introduction.
As the name suggests, all grapes in a LBV come from one year. This style enjoys more time in barrel than an entry level ruby port (up to six rather than two) and as such the flavours and alcohol have time to develop and fuse together.
Expect black currants, cherry, and dried fruit flavors, particularly prunes and raisins. And don’t worry if you can’t finish the whole bottle in one go, these ports can be keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.