Impress your friend or love this Valentine’s Day, or any day really, with a fun and delicious wine and chocolate tasting experience. Lindt, the Swiss chocolatier, has done all the work to help you pick the chocolate and type of wine to pair with it.

Take a step into Lindt’s kitchen to get started. Click on ‘the chocolate and wine’ for details on doing the chocolate tasting with your five senses then pairing the wines. Lindt suggests, “The pairing should begin with the chocolate tasting.  First, take a moment to appreciate the intense aromas of the chocolate.  Next, take a small bite. While the chocolate is slowly melting in your mouth, savor its different notes and flavors. As you are tasting the final lingering notes, slowly sip the wine.  The key to finding the ideal combination between a chocolate and a wine is when the taste notes harmonize, and neither the chocolate nor the wine dominates the senses.”

For our wine and chocolate pairing last night we had…

  • Merlot (2009 J. Lohr Estates Los Osos) + Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa: The pairing brings out the cherry and chocolate flavors in the wine, and the fruit and vanilla flavors in the chocolate.
  • Zinfandel (2007 Cellar No. 8 ) + Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa: This pairing brings out the raspberry and pepper of the wine and the chocolate’s herbal and red berry notes. The chocolate adds a nice smoothness to the Zin.
  • Port (Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve) + Lindt Excellence Chili: This was our favorite pairing! Alone you can’t taste much chili in the chocolate but pairing with the Port, the chocolate gets a kick and sweetness. The chocolate also cuts the alcohol intensity from the Port and dials up its cherry notes.

Lindt’s site also gives you details on each Excellence chocolate with a wine pairing suggestion. It’s also fun to print out wine tasting notes from the winery’s website to help guide you in the wine tasting.

This is also a great gift for the wine and chocolate lover in your life. Special thanks to my in-laws for doing all the hard work and putting together this birthday present…wine, chocolate and all the tasting notes! My husband and I were left to just enjoy. As he said, “Fun! Nice after dinner pairing.” ;)

Cheers to wine + chocolate!