Chocolate and Wine: A Sexy Pairing

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Something great happens when sexy forces combine. Brangelina took on an army of children, the Sports Illustrated models became a calendar institution, and don't make us explain what happened when Kama met Sutra. Like it or not, sexiness is a powerful thing.

When it comes to food, there's nothing sexier than chocolate and wine. So on a quest to unveil our inner foodie-provocateur, we went looking for an education (not THAT kind of education) from Floyd's Kitchen owner and wine expert Brandon Hermansky on how to perfectly pair chocolate and wine.

Find out how to pair chocolate and wine after the jump.

"Pairing is huge for me," says Hermansky. "Finding the right pairing between wine and food can really enhance your experience." For chocolate pairings, Hermansky recommends starting with red California wines since they are sweet and fruit-forward. The wine needs to be sweet, just like the chocolate, so the chocolate doesn't taste bitter. The key to pairing is finding a balance.

A good rule of thumb? The heavier the chocolate, the heavier the wine. But to avoid a chocolate disaster, we had Hermansky give us a few suggestions.

Dark Chocolate and Grenache

If you are eating heavier chocolate like a dark chocolate, then you want to pair it with a heavier wine. Hermansky suggests a Grenache, a full-bodied Cabernet, or a Red Zinfandel paired with a more bitter chocolate. When choosing a good red wine, you want something a bit more fruit forward -- something that can really cut into that intense chocolate flavor. Try to pair an intensely chocolate flavor with an intensely bold wine.  

Milk Chocolate and Pinot Noir

Since milk chocolate is a lighter, creamier chocolate, it should be paired with a lighter wine.  Hermansky admits that you can probably mix it with anything and still enjoy the flavors, but for the best experience he suggests a Pinot Noir -- and avoid anything too dry. If you're in a white kind of mood then a Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc is also a good choice.

White Chocolate and Champagne

White chocolate goes great with sweeter champagnes. Hermansky recommends a sweet Demi-Sec. A Sherry is also a good choice. But if you're feeling a bit more adventurous, Hermansky swears that there is nothing more delicious than a Pina Colada and white chocolate.

Other Creative Options

For anything a bit more gourmet, like coconut or mint, you should get a lighter wine like a Pinot Noir or Riesling. Avoid any wines coming from colder climates. He also recommends fruit. "There's nothing better than fruit, chocolate and wine. If I had a date I was really into, that would definitely be how I'd try to impress her," says Hermansky.

Thanks for the dating advice, Hermansky.

Whether you're at a romantic candlelit dinner for two, sipping wine in your pajamas alone, or somewhere in between, give a few parings a shot. We recommend starting light and moving your way up the more intense flavors.

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