Some may say the best part of Valentine’s Day is sharing it with the one you love. Of course that’s sweet, but for a whole other bunch of love-loving couples, the best part of Valentine’s Day is the chocolate! Let’s be honest, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be the same without a giant chocolate filled heart.
In honor of the lover’s holiday, we’ve consulted the experts on exactly what wines pair perfectly with each flavored chocolate in that heart.
Alexander LaPratt, MS, owner of ATRIUM Dumbo and Beasts & Bottles in Brooklyn Heights, NY, knows a thing or two about wine.
He works closely with the Spain’s Ribera del Duero y Rueda regions as their wine ambassador and is often asked to pair varietals with food for the ultimate wine and food experience. For Valentine’s Day, here are his picks.
1. Fruit Crèmes + Carrasvinas 2014
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Carrasvinas 2014 is a riper, more tropical expression of the popular white varietal Verdejo and is filled with pineapple, passionfruit and mango.
This wine would be an incredible accompaniment to a classic fruit-crème filled chocolates.
2. Cookie Dough Truffles + Vina Magna 2011
Vina Magna 2011 is a powerful wine filled with flavors of dark plum, black cherry and blackberry dusted in chocolate powder and vanilla crème.
If I were looking to surprise someone with something delicious, I’d make some chocolate chunk cookies or better yet the chocolate cookie dough-covered truffles in some gourmet boxes.
3. Cherry Cordials + Figuero 15 2011
The Figuero 15 2011 sees only 15 months of barrel aging so its bright cherry flavors are supplemented with vanilla and coconut.
One of my favorite go-to Valentine’s Day offerings are those cherry cordial chocolates, or better yet, bourbon-soaked cherries that are dipped in chocolate!
4. White Chocolate + Moscato d’Asti
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Technically, white chocolate isn’t chocolate, what with the lack of cocoa in it. Still, it’s rich and creamy and satisfies your sweet tooth and a space in that candy heart.
When reaching for this white chunk of heaven, pour yourself a glass of something sweet. Think Moscato d’Asti or a sweet rose.
5. Orange Crèmes + Marques de Caceres Verdejo 2015
Wondering what to have for dessert tonight? These orange sour cream cupcakes are just the thing! They're light in texture and with a soft crumb (the moisture from the sour cream is what does the trick!), and the orange zest creates a subtle but fragrant citrus flavour that pairs nicely with the white chocolate glaze on top. Tip: Grate more orange zest on top for colour and added flavour! Ready in less than half an hour! #sourcreamcupcakes #orangecupcakes #orangezest #bakingideas #easybaking #treatyourself #orange #desserttime #softcupcake #sweettreats #lightandfluffy #magicingredient #sourcream #moistcupcakes #bakedgoods #citrus #whitechocolate #homemadebakedgoods
A crisp, clean, fresh and slightly tart fruit Verdejo is ideal for any food that features flavors of citrus and zest.
The complementing wine flavors in the Marques de Caceres Verdejo 2015 of white grapefruit, green pear, lemon citrus coupled with a slight herbaceous-ness and chalky-limestone works great with an assortment of candy box truffles like orange and coconut crèmes. Also, if you’re a Salt-Water Taffy fan, this is your pick.
6. Chocolate Truffles + Finca Villacreses ‘Pruno’ 2012
Finca Villacreses “Pruno” 2012! This is a powerful, dense, chewy wine filled with black plum, black currant and black cherry.
It sees just enough oak to round it out and make it smooth as red silk. This is the perfect pairing for your decadent chocolate on chocolate truffle.
7. Chocolate Covered Strawberries + Protos Rosado
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Chocolate-covered strawberries are what Valentine’s Day is all about. Get the same sweet flavor out of your candy heart by diving in for the sweet strawberry crèmes.
To sip, pick a refreshing rosé like Protos Rosado, at a steal for under 10 dollars.
8. Caramels + Mocén Espumoso Brut
A few bubbles in the form of a sparkling wine like Spanish cava is the perfect accompaniment to a rich-filled caramel candy.
The wine will add some brightness and texture to the creamy caramel. Want specifics? Try the Mocén Espumoso Brut at just $15 a bottle.
9. Peanut Butter-Filled Chocolate + Tinto Fino
Tinto Fino is a great introduction to the wines from Ribera Del Duero. A 100 percent Tempranillo, it’s a wine that is ruby in color, full of ripe berry aromas with a slight touch of oak and full tannins and flavor that linger.
It’s the perfect match to the velvety texture and flavor of a peanut butter stuffed chocolate.
10. Vanilla Crèmes + Protos Gran Reserva 2010
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A nice spiced Pinot Noir is what you must serve if your go-to in the box is a chocolate vanilla crème. Want to make it more interesting?
Opt for a Protos Gran Reserva 2010 which delivers bright cherry and plum flavors with subtle gamy notes and a bit of smoke to bring life to the vanilla flavor of the candy.
11. Dark Chocolate + Mourvedre
Not everyone loves dark chocolate. But for those who appreciate the large cocoa solid content that has to be at least 35 percent to be considered dark, a big, bold high tannin wine like Mourvedre is for you.
Also called Monastrell, this is a Spanish full-bodied wine that won’t compete with the distinct flavor of dark chocolate, but will instead bring out the bitter rich, rustic notes in it.