If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive, Do-it-Yourself way to experiment with wine and chocolate pairings, simply picking up a few bars of Green and Black's premium chocolate is a good way to start. By taking a "mix and match" approach to finding your own personal palate preferences when it comes to pairing wine and chocolate, you'll gain "hands-on" knowledge of which wines really complement which chocolate combinations. By opening several bars of chocolate with a few bottles of wine you'll be able to take each chocolate through a "mini" series of wine pairings to see which combinations rise to the top.
The Green and Black's White Chocolate bar has a 30% cocoa content and offers a truly creamy, ultra buttery, packed with vanilla-bean - white chocolate experience. As for wine varietals that paired well with this chocolate - we found that a big, buttery Chardonnay really melded well with the butter and vanilla content of the bar. Also a ligher weight sparkling rosé Spumante did a beautiful job of bringing out the bar's vanilla content, while adding it's own raspberry flavor to the mix. Surprisingly, we also found that a bold Zinfandel actually brought about a really fun contrast pairing opportunity with the white chocolate. The white chocolate had a softening affect on the Zin's tannins and the Zin accented the chocolate's vanilla.
The Green & Black's premium milk chocolate has a cocoa content of 34%, allowing for a little more strength of character and flavor than your "average" milk chocolate. This bar of chocolate offered a lot of pairing flexibility. It partnered well with Cabernet Sauvignon and a rosé sparkling wine. It also had pretty good pairing potential with a 10 Year Tawny Port.
This is not your typical caramel and chocolate bar - there is the sweet, but it also has a touch of salt to offset the potential for "oversweet" brought about by the caramel content. This caramel, chocolate combination paired very well with our featured Pinot Noir. The silky, smooth texture of the chocolate and the same texture combination of the Pinot Noir brought both the flavors of the chocolate and the wine to the next level.
The Green & Black's dark chocolate (55% cocoa) and orange was complemented best by a citrus-driven, off-dry Riesling wine. The Riesling's tropical, citrus flavors of orange and lemon along with a background note of spice and lemon zest really captured the orange of the chocolate - elevating both the wine and the chocolate.
This bar of chocolate, with a 67% cocoa content and coffee beans to boot, brings some serious tannins to the table, we knew we were in for a serious red wine combo. The red wines that offered the best pairing combinations, were not surprisingly an accomodating California Pinot Noir and a no non-sense Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines were able to pick up the mocha mix in the chocolate, by bringing it into a slightly sweeter palate setting. One taster noticed a "splash of sweetness" as soon as the wine was in contact with the chocolate.
I am a big fan of dark chocolate, so pairing dark chocolate with wine is always a fun quest! This 70% dark from Green and Black presented best with the Cabernet Sauvignon and the runner up was the Pinot Noir. The Zinfandel was a "no go," just too much power competition on the palate. The Cab contributed the dark red fruit that was well supported by the slightly bitter chocolate input.