The only thing in life better than fresh cheese might be a chunk of chocolate.
And the only thing better than having that is a tall glass of wine to go along with it.
What makes the pairing of cheese, chocolate, and wine intriguing is that you have an infinite set of flavor combinations to try. You have over 1,000 different cheese varieties, dozens of different chocolate types, and thousands of wines to enjoy from all over the world.
Each item comes with a unique set of aromas and flavors that sometimes match and occasionally clash.
The fun part is the anticipation of experimentation. Whether you use cheese made from home or grabbed something at the store, here are some of the popular choices to try when mixing cheese, chocolate, and wine for a relaxing treat.
Best Cheese Options to Try
When you pair cheese with chocolate and wine, some immediate varieties stand out because of their texture and flavor profile.
You will find Mozzarella, cheddar, gouda, and Camembert readily promoted as the best cheese options to pair with chocolate and wine.
When you want to explore bolder flavors, consider adding some gorgonzola to your treat. You could also try a flavored cheese with wasabi, standard horseradish, or smoked to add another layer of complexity to the culinary conversation.
If you prefer something milder, try a baby Swiss cheese that is just starting to have the holes appear. Another option could be provolone, although the store-bought variety has nothing on what gets made in Italy or your home.
Several cream cheese flavors are available today that pair well with chocolate and wine. Consider using a beautiful spreadable cheese with herbs and garlic for a fun treat with your family or friends.
Best Chocolate Varieties to Try
You could order your favorite chocolate bars in bulk to enjoy the combination with cheese and wine. Whether you prefer milk or dark chocolate, several brands provide this sweet treat at an affordable price.
If you’re willing to experiment in this area, consider using a baker’s bar of chocolate instead of something from a candy manufacturer. The cocoa content can go up to 100% with this product, although pure chocolate is considerably bitter. Try to stick with something in the 70% range to match with a smooth cheese and a sweet wine.
You can also find semi-sweet and white chocolate options available to match with your favorite cheese and wine pairing.
Chocolatiers use several proprietary techniques when creating this sweet or semi-sweet treat. Consider upgrading the quality of what you purchase by buying Valrhona, Jacque Torres, or Teuscher.
Best Wines to Pair with Cheese and Chocolate
Wine works well with cheese and chocolate because it provides many of the same qualities. You’ll get a healthy dose of flavanols and rich flavors with every sip.
Some wines are dry, others semi-dry, and a few are sweet. Although personal preferences play a significant role when pairing a bottle with cheese and chocolate, some principles are available to follow.
1. Balance the bitterness of the dark chocolate.
When you drink red wine with dark chocolate, your tongue gets left with a bitter sensation because of the tannins you receive. There isn’t a cheese on this planet that can balance out that flavor!
That means you need the wine to balance the bitterness of the dark chocolate first. You’ll find one that provides flavors of cherries, cinnamon, or nuttiness does an excellent job. Add a sharp cheese, such as cheddar, for a lovely treat.
2. Use sparkling wine with milk chocolate.
The best milk chocolate is usually a 50-50 mix of cream and cocoa. When you include the extra fat from the dairy products, you need something tart or bubbly to break up the sweetness. Champagne is a classic pairing here, especially if you have a semi-dry variety available.
When adding some cheese into this mix, consider having something with a nutty tone to it. Gruyere is an excellent choice, although it may have some limited availability. A Camembert you made at home pairs nicely with sparkling wine, as does Munster, provolone, and a young Asiago.
3. Match white wine with white chocolate.
If you want an incredible treat this evening, grab a favorite pinot noir and a bar of white chocolate. Your tongue won’t believe what it is experiencing. A dry cheese works better with this combination, so consider shaving off some small slices of parmesan to enjoy with it.
White chocolate also works well with a sweet, carbonated wine like a Moscato d’asti. You’ll have lots of delicate flavors working together that require a light cheese to match. Try having some Jarlsberg® with it to have tones of Swiss without being overpowering.
4. Flavored chocolates and sparkling reds are an excellent combination.
Chocolatiers enjoy putting different flavors with their chocolate to create several unique products. You can find fillings made of strawberry, ginger, caramel, and mint quite often. A sweet, sparkling red wine is an excellent match in this circumstance. You might try an orange Muscat for more tartness.
Cheese that works well with this combination has an equally bold profile. It’s the perfect opportunity for a gorgonzola to shine. Anything that you make from home with blue mold in the culture is going to create a fantastic treat.
What Cheese, Chocolate, and Wine Combination Will You Try?
Cheese, chocolate, and wine can create a heavenly snack at any time of day. You could relax by the fire, binge watch a favorite show, or settle in for a snuggle with this combination whenever you want.
These ideas can help you craft an enjoyable plate using cheeses made in your kitchen. You can also find these products online or at your local store.
Once you try a few of these ideas, start making your own pairings! When you think of cheese, chocolate, and wine as ingredients, you’ll find several new combinations to enjoy.