Vineyard Shot


Sean Sullivan pairs 2010 Lt Harvest Riesling & Theo Chocolate for Q13 News

"...For me, the 2010 Forgeron Cellars Late Harvest Riesling...worked beautifully with the chocolate covered caramels..."

Sean P. Sullivan, WA Wine Report for Q13 Fox News


The Dreaded Valentine's Day Wine & Chocolate Pairing

Watch my segment on wine & chocolate pairing on Seattle's Q13 News here.

"We love to talk about pairing wine & chocolate, but most wine lovers & chocoholics would agree that the pairing is often very difficult to successfully pull off.

Much like wine, chocolate is simultaneously sweet & bitter, fruity & acidic. Trying to line up each of these qualities to a specific wine & have them complement, rather than clash, can be monumentally difficult. Additionally, the pairing can be quite subjective with one person's divine pairing another's dreadful flop. Given this, the best thing to do is experiment with a variety of different chocolates & a variety of different wines. And who can complain about that?

With that in mind, here are a few general things to think about when pairing wine & chocolate. Rules don't tend to work too well with wine & chocolate pairing, but if you have to have one, try pairing lighter chocolates with lighter wines. Similarly, pair darker chocolates with darker, full bodied wines. Some say that the wine should be as sweet or sweeter than the chocolate; others disagree. I personally like to try the wine first & then the chocolate & then the 2 of them together, but you can change this order & it can affect the perception of the pairing as well...

...For me, the 2010 Forgeron Cellars Late Harvest Riesling ($19, West Seattle Cellars*) - a dessert-style white wine - worked beautifully with the chocolate covered caramels from Theo. In particular, the Honey Saffron caramel was a great pairing where the wine really accented these flavors.

I've listed in bold...below the combinations that worked best for me. Equally importantly though are a number of combinations that did not. This is not the fault of the wines or the chocolates. Wine & chocolate pairing can be very tricky business, & when it doesn't work, it can go monumentally poorly. And that should be the real take away. Wine & chocolate don't always love each other as much as we love them. But it's always fun to try."

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

* Known Seattle-area retailers. Also available at other locations.  


Fig, Fennel & Almond Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao)

Bread & Chocolate Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao)

Cherry & Almond Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao)

Ultimate Dark chocolate (85% Cacao)

Casanova Caramels

Forgeron Late Harvest Riesling 2010

Wine bowls over the chocolate.

Goes together nicely. Neither elevates the other but they fit together well.

A slightly uncomfortable  pairing although it doesn't clash. Accents the cherry notes although there is a bit of bitterness.

Clashes across the board.

Honey Saffron CaramelWow! This makes the caramel pop as well as the pear on the wine with the saffron a nice accent.     Pink Salted -  Works well with the chocolate but not going backward. Ginger Rose - Works pretty well. Accents the ginger. Lavendar Jalapeno - Works well surprisingly.