When one only considers strictly the symbiosis of wine and chocolate, it is easy to conclude that there is little to suggest that they actually complement one another…other than to say that both have a somewhat “guilty pleasure” trait…and both are very desirably complex items over which wars have been fought!
The increasing lovers of wine and chocolate will tell you that this is a better match than wine and cheese. After all, cheese is made (mostly) with milk, and milk is the opposite of wine.
Try this: take a sip of wine (don’t let me twist your arm, now). Now, eat a piece of your favorite dark chocolate. Now take another sip of the same wine…I promise you that the taste experience of your second sip will be significantly different than the first. (If not, repeat until you get it right…) The cocoa in the chocolate coats your palate and tweaks your olfactory system (your smell apparatus) and therefore heightens your taste buds. The darker the chocolate (70%+), the higher the content of cocoa, the more it will offset the natural sweetness of the wine. The opposite however is not true: with a sweet chocolate (like white chocolate) only the sweetest of wine will do: like a crisp Canadian Icewine!
Great chefs know how to do this very cleverly in reverse so as to cause what you drink to affect what you taste.
I think that in the spirit of Valentine’s, everything you eat or drink should go straight to your heart. Both chocolate and wine have been determined to be good for your heart health…so enjoy…and Happy Valentine’s!