If you’ve ever wondered how to pair wine and chocolate, read on through for our essential guide with pairings and tips!

Most wine lovers and foodies would usually look to seafood and cheese for a pairing. However, here at Hunter and Bligh, we like to do things a little differently and chocolate is always at the top of our list.

Nonetheless, we’re here to help you with what wines to pair with gourmet Australian chocolate.

Although there are nibs of things you didn’t know about pairing wine and chocolate, the first is certainly the most surprising: chocolate and wine are generally quite difficult to pair. Thankfully, wine expert Carolyn Etherington is here to help us with this essential guide to the best wine and chocolate pairings to try at home!

<strong>Dark Chocolate</strong>
Photographed by BarthFotografie. Image via Shutterstock.

Dark Chocolate

If you’ve ever wondered why wine and chocolate go together, dark chocolate is the perfect example. The secret to any dark chocolate and wine pairing is the polyphenols. Dark chocolate mirrors this in red wine to give both a slightly bitter taste. The bitterness in dark chocolate is best complemented and balanced out by a shiraz, zinfandel and malbec. If you’re wondering how to pair red wine and high percentage cocoa dark chocolate, you’ll need a wine that is bolder, denser, full bodied and has more concentrated fruit notes.

The Best Wines to Pair with Dark Chocolate:
Winton Road Barossa Valley Shiraz
Pensilva Estate Shiraz
Franco & Rico Malbec

<strong>Milk Chocolate</strong>
Photographed by BarthFotografie. Image via Shutterstock.

Milk Chocolate

When looking for quality milk chocolate, look to those that are half chocolate and half cream. Surprisingly, the extra fat from the cream makes it one of the easiest chocolates to pair liquor with. In saying that, the best wine to pair with milk chocolate is a lighter, fruitier and lower-alcohol red wine (or fortified wine) such as muscat, tokay or a tawny is best. Its butterscotch, toffee and nutty nuances highlight milk chocolate’s nutty caramel notes. An overall flavour enhancer!

The Best Wines to Pair with Milk Chocolate:
St Andrews Australian Tawny
McWilliams 5YO Signature Release Tawny NV

<strong>White Chocolate</strong>
Photographed by BarthFotografie. Image via Shutterstock.

White Chocolate

White chocolate is the most underrated chocolate variety. Creamy and light, generally if you are looking for the best wine to pair with white chocolate you would look to a pinot noir. Pinot noirs are shockingly delicious and the lighter is usually the better. Counteracting with the softness of white chocolate, it also acts as the fat to deliver the sweet flavours of red cherries, strawberries and raspberries that are found in the wine.

The Best Wines to Pair with White Chocolate:
The Ned Pinot Noir
Rapaura Springs Pinot Noir
Ballewindi Pinot Noir

Now that you’ve learnt how to pair wine and chocolate with our essential guide, learn about the Best Wine and Cheese Pairings. Or, for a sophisticated feast, you must try our Guide to the Best Seafood and Wine Pairings.

Feature image: Photographed by Africa Studio. Image via Shutterstock.
Editor’s Note: Our writers and contributors have independently selected and curated this article, and all opinions are their own. This article does contain affiliate links which allow us to make revenue off some purchases made by our readers.
This article was first published on April 14 2019. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on March 19 2024.