If you are hosting a chocolate tasting, you may be wondering what you should pair with your chocolate. The good news is that you have plenty of options. Below you will find some ideas for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as well as cheeses and fruits.
Alcoholic beverages naturally pair well with chocolate because the depth of flavor in most alcoholic drinks compliments the rich experience of fine chocolate.
- Wine is a natural compliment to chocolate because they both have complex, subtle flavors that intensify your overall experience. In general, milk chocolate pairs well with white wine and light red wines. Dark chocolate pairs well with dark red wines. Spicy chocolates pair well with full, sweet wines such as port. Sparkling wines pair well with fruity or nutty chocolates as well as dark chocolate.
- Beer is less commonly paired with chocolate, but microbrews can make excellent tasting companions. Blondes tend to pair well with milk chocolates. Ambers and dark beers can stand up to the slightly bitter taste of dark chocolates. Fruit filled chocolates can lessen the sharp flavor of an IPA, letting you experience the more subtle aspects of its flavor.
- Hard Alcohols that pair well with chocolate tend to be scotch and whiskey. However, many fruit-based spirits can also benefit from chocolate as well. Finally, sweet liqueurs can pair well with all types of chocolate.
If you are hosting a tasting, you will want to offer plenty of non-alcoholic beverages along with your alcoholic beverages. This will allow your guests to continue tasting without dulling their senses.
- Carbonated beverages can cleanse your palate between types of chocolate, allowing you to experience each piece fully. Avoid sweetened drinks, as they may overwhelm your senses, dulling your ability to taste the chocolate. Instead, opt for club soda. For dark chocolate, you may opt to add a twist of citrus or a bit of fresh ginger.
- Non-carbonated drinks such as plain water also cleanse your palate. Non-sweetened fruit juices can pair well with nutty chocolates as well as dark chocolate.
Cheeses come in as many varieties as chocolate and are meant to be consumed in small amounts. Their sharp flavors help balance out the sweetness of most chocolates, making many types of cheese an excellent pairing choice.
- Soft Cheeses, such as Camembert or Brie, have light flavors and will pair well with milk chocolate and fruit-filled dark chocolates.
- Firm Cheeses, such as Parmesan or Cheddar, tend to have a sharper flavor profile, and they pair well with nutty chocolates.
- Blue Cheeses can have a strong, bitter flavor. They should be paired with a strong dark chocolate that will be able to outshine the strong flavor of the cheese.
Fruits supply a freshness to a chocolate tasting that keeps your guests feeling lively instead of weighed down by the heavier flavors of sweeter chocolates.
- Citrus fruits, such as oranges, limes, and pineapple, pair well with all kinds of chocolate. They are best at cutting the sharp flavor of a pure dark chocolate.
- Pome Fruits, such as apples and pears, pair well with soft milk chocolate. They also go well with fruit and nut-filled chocolates.
- Stone Fruits, such as cherries, apricots, and plums, can have a slightly acidic undertone. This makes them excellent to pair with slightly dark chocolates or very dark chocolates with nut or creme fillings.
- Berries pair well with both milk and dark chocolates. Skip the filled chocolates and instead consider melting the chocolate into a fondue if you want to pair it with berries.
You should keep in mind that your chocolate tastings do not have to be overly complex. Selecting one or two complimentary drinks and snacks is the best way to make sure your guests can fully experience each of the chocolates you provide. Armed with these tips, you're ready to order your chocolates from a supplier like Abdallah Candies And Gifts.