Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chocolate and Cheese

I gave a talk on January 31 at Sahara Mart. Here is an outline.


1) You really can’t go wrong pairing wine with cheeses.

2) Think white wine more often. Acid (freshness) not tannin, is the key.

3) If you want a perfect match, think a single cheese, with a condiment or nuts.

4) Some perfect matches:
Goat and sauvignon blanc
Pinot Noir and hard cheese, especially Ossau Iraty or Vermont Shepherd
Chablis and brie
Sauternes and blue

5) Outside the box: cider with pont l’eveque, stout or Belgian ale with stinky cheese.


1) You really can go wrong pairing chocolate with wine.

2) Great reference to conventional wisdom:

3) Steiman’s law (Wine Spectator, Jan. 31, 2009): The wine must taste sweeter than the chocolate.

Never Champagne
Bitter chocolate (80%) and Amarone (or really ripe zinfandel).
A little sweeter–(70%) or “death by chocolate” –Banyuls or port.
Typical chocolate dessert–Campbell’s Rutherglen muscat or tokay.
Mainly fruit with a bit of chocolate, e.g., dipped strawberries–Ice Wine (do try Oliver’s)

Outside the box: sweet sherry.


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