Pinot Grigio Chocolate Pairing: The Perfect Duo
Who said that wine and cheese are the only perfect pairing? Although chocolate pairing is a little less popular, that does not mean it isn’t as great. Wine and chocolate sound like a great idea for a perfect evening, but the pairing isn’t as simple as it seems. Those who prefer Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio cannot pair it with the same chocolates. So what is the best Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing?
The best Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing is white chocolate. The light, creamy flavor of white chocolate pairs excellently with the acidity of Pinot Grigio. These two are the perfect combination for a romantic evening.
Before understanding why white chocolate is the perfect match, let’s first see the wine itself and then go onto the rules for chocolate pairings. Then, we can take a closer look to identify specific flavors of Pinot Grigio that make it a perfect match with a bar of white chocolate.
Pinot Grigio Flavors
To know which Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing would be best, let’s first identify what type of wine it is. Pinot Grigio is a rather approachable white wine, which has a mild and citrusy flavor. This type of wine is dry (not sweet), which is why many people prefer pairing it with chocolate to add more sweetness. But is this the right approach for Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing?
Let’s firstly identify the key elements in the wine. It usually has flavors of green apples, citrus, and minerals. Pinot Grigio may also vary in taste based on where the wine was originally produced. Basically, if you prefer light or simple flavored wines, Pinot Grigio is your go-to option!
Pinot Grigio also perfectly pairs with mussels and hot summer days! Regions that tend to produce wine in this style include Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto and Lombardy and are both located in Italy. It’s common to find Pinot Grigio bottles with lower alcohol levels between 10-12.5% ABV. Once you try this style of wine, you’ll be hooked.
Pinot Grigio is not just a “mouth-moisturizer,” that many might assume. Though it might be light and simple, if paired well with food or chocolate, you will get a chance to explore Pinot Grigio’s hidden flavors.
Pinot Grigio vs. Pinot Gris
People tend to confuse Pinot Grigio with Pinot Gris quite a lot. Although both are the exact same grape, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are produced in distinctly different styles. Pinot Grigio is referred to as an everyday Italian style dry wine, whereas Pinot Gris indicates a richer French (Alsace) style.
Despite their differences in styles, experts believe Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing can also be relevant to Pinot Gris. So, how exactly do you choose the perfect chocolate for your glass of wine? Let’s explore more and find out the perfect Pinot Grigio and chocolate match!
Rules for Chocolate Pairings
When considering wine pairing with chocolate, there are some rules you need to follow to have the best experience. According to Ben Fine, La Crema Wine Educator, when thinking about pairing wine and chocolate, ensure that wine is slightly sweeter than the chocolate. Surprised?
Most people have mixed feelings about this rule. In the case of the Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing, most wine lovers mention that they choose to have sweets with the wine because it is too dry for them. The reality is choosing slightly sweeter wine with darker chocolate will prevent the pairing from falling flat and will also avoid flavors from becoming muddled.
Another pro tip from Carolyn Hudec, Sommelier and Director at Chocolate Secrets , the critical aspect to pairing the wine and chocolate is to correctly identify which flavor of the wine you are looking to exploit. Sounds tricky, right? But once identified, the chocolate is used as a “manipulator” to change the wine notes. If you are into white wines, Hudec offers you trying it with white chocolate.
From her own experience, Sommelier says her pairing of Sauvignon Blanc with white chocolate turned out great! By enjoying it with buttery white chocolate, she was able to explore the more distinctive and “silky” side of Sauvignon Blanc. This pairing applies to any white wine type, and Pinot Grigio is not an exception.
Pinot Grigio Chocolate Pairing
We have already explored the thoughts and recommendations of sommeliers and wine experts. Now, you are probably thinking of eventually trying Pinot Grigio with white chocolate. If not, let’s get deeper into the topic to identify chocolate and wine’s hidden flavors.
The first thing you would like to know is a rather funny fact. Did you know that most chocolate lovers usually refer to white chocolate as “not a true chocolate”? Still, there are many who love white chocolate and would love to try pairing it with wine.
You are in a win-win situation if you also love Pinot Grigio. Since white chocolate’s primary flavors are cream and butter, it pairs well with light and playful wines, just like Pinot Grigio! As white chocolate is an exciting match with white wines, delicious Pinot Grigio is among them and delivers the flavor of spicy nashi pear and green apples.
There are three general steps each Sommelier would generally ask you to follow. First of all, when tasting wine and chocolate, many sommeliers advise tasting each of the components separately before trying together.
Even though many wine experts say the best Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing is with white chocolate, everyone enjoys pairings differently. So, have fun exploring which one works best for you.
Smell and taste the wine to understand primary flavors and do the same with chocolate. Take a bite of chocolate and then have a sip of the wine to understand how they work together. Do you like how the two components work together?
Other White Wine Chocolate Pairings
A lot of people assume that red wine with any chocolate is the ultimate perfection. But there are so many unique pairings that you can try. One thing you probably didn’t know is that dry red wine is the wrong choice for pairing with many chocolates.
Wine lovers like to talk about its tannins; others who aren’t familiar with wine culture probably don’t know what tannin is. To put it briefly, they are naturally occurring compounds existing inside grape skins, seeds, and stems.
Did you know that chocolate contains tannins too? More tannins exist in dark chocolate bars, which explains the possible clash between a tannin-heavy red wine and a truffle.
Another surprising fact is that if your chocolate bar isn’t sweet, it doesn’t mean that wine should be sweet to create the perfect balance. In fact, the perfect chocolate and wine pairing is quite the opposite. Darker and more intense chocolate requires more intense wine with it.
For example, Sauvignon Blanc is ideal with citrus-infused white chocolate. The flavors include various fruits with lower alcohol notes, creating structural bridges of lighter body and bright acid.
The most famous type among all white wines is probably Chardonnay. It is made in a wide range of styles, from lean, sparkling Blanc de Blancs to creamy white wines aged in oaks. Chardonnay pairs perfectly with white chocolate.
As Sommeliers like to say, the flavor bridges include buttery, yogurt, vanilla, and nutty characters. Pairing Chardonnay with white chocolate helps you create a structural bridge of a round and rich body.
So, if you are a big fan of Chardonnay, next time try pairing it with white chocolate. Undoubtedly, the notes you will discover this time will be completely different from what you have already tried.
Milk vs Dark Chocolate with Wine
Of all the chocolate types, milk chocolates vary most in taste. Many sommeliers advise to taste milk chocolate first and only then pair it with wine. The primary question for you to identify which wine is the best match is do they have nutty flavors or fruity notes?
Are they balanced tasting mainly of cocoa butter? The general rule of thumb for matching milk chocolate is with mild reds or sweet wines.
If you’re a big fan of dark chocolate, the best match is Merlot or Pinot Noir (if the chocolate contains around 55% cocoa). Dark chocolates generally require bolder wines to stand up to the match. Any wines with slight chocolate notes on their own will be an exciting pairing to consider too.
Dark chocolate or milk, red or white, sparkling or non, you can always create your taste! Apart from all the possible matches, you have read above, try to explore more on your own and find the perfect wine and chocolate pairing.
Not only will trying new things be exciting, but you may also find an ultimate pairing to suggest to your family and friends.
All in all, pairing wine with chocolate may sound more straightforward than it really is. There are a lot of rules and tips to follow if you want to find the perfect match. Still, a thriving wine and chocolate pairing will make your evening even more memorable!
It provides enhanced tastes across the palate, revealing many hidden notes in both. You can’t simply pair your favorite wine and sweetest chocolate.
Each type of wine has its unique flavors, and for having the best experience, it would be great to choose a bar of chocolate to enhance the hidden notes. As a general rule for white wines, including Pinot Grigio, try pairing it white or milk chocolate.
Perhaps the best rule of all, with wine and chocolate pairing is to identify what you love. We hope you enjoyed this article on Pinot Grigio chocolate pairing. You can be guided by the suggestions mentioned above, but if you also come up with perfect match yourself, go for it and have a wonderful evening!
To living a full-bodied life,