Flowers are nice, but I get far more satisfaction out of quality chocolates, a bottle of her favorite wine, and time to enjoy them both. Flowers shrivel in a few days, and my cats usually attempt the eat them when I’m not looking, so I usually have to put them up where they’re not immediately visible anyway. Last year, my husband did something I’ll never forget. He enrolled me in a wine club and made sure I had chocolates paired with the wines. Mother’s Day ended, but I had wine and chocolates for months. It was the most thoughtful gift I’ve ever received.
Here are some of my favorite wine and chocolate pairings from that gift.
White Chocolate and Muscat
White chocolate is sweet and creamy. Unlike milk or dark chocolate that has the cocoa liquor from the cacao bean, white chocolate is simply the cocoa butter blended with sugar and milk solids. It’s high fat, lacks the bitterness found in dark chocolate, and has a rich mouthfeel. As it is sweet and rich, it pairs well with a dry muscat.
Muscat wine comes from a specific grape, the muscat, that’s popular in Australia, France, and Italy. It’s a dry wine, so it balances the sweetness of the white chocolate beautifully. Muscat grape producers also make sparkling wines that are available in sparkling wine clubs.
Milk Chocolate and Shiraz
Shiraz wines are dry and a little acidic. Paired with sweet milk chocolate, there’s a great balance of sweet with the spicy, richness of the wine.
Milk chocolate is a step above white chocolate. Some of the cacao bean liquor is added to create the creamy brown associated with milk chocolate. It’s sweeter than a dark chocolate, but there is the distinct chocolate flavor that goes so well with a dry red wine from a red wine clubs.
Dark Chocolate and Zinfandel
Dark chocolate comes in different percentages. Per European standards, dark chocolate must be a minimum 35 percent cocoa solids. The higher the percentage of the cocoa solids, the richer, more bitter, the chocolate tastes. The type of wine club given really depends on the bitterness level.
With a really dark chocolate, my favorite is 72 percent, a sweeter wine like Traminette is ideal. Traminette isn’t always an easy wine to find, therefore, I loved the combination of zinfandel and dark chocolate. The balance of the wine’s sweetness and the fruit and oak notes of the wine pair perfectly.
Choosing a Wine of the Month Gift
Chocolate and wine pairings are really a matter of taste. I love to balance sweet and bitter or creamy and sweet with dry and acidic. With a wine of the month club gift, it’s easy to pair favorite types of wines with favorite chocolates. Some women do not like the darker, bitter chocolates and prefer sweeter milk chocolates.
This Mother’s Day make the woman in your life really feel appreciated. Gift her a subscription to a sparkling wine of the month or red wine of the month club gift with some quality chocolates. And, don’t forget to give her some quiet “me time” in order to indulge!