Get Mo Wine and Chocolate!

This program was created so you can enjoy a ‘wine tasting’ all around Modesto, but with a twist…we are focusing the tastings on the theme of the month! In November, wine flights were designed to help you learn and select wines that go with Thanksgiving Dinner. In December the wine flights were focused on Christmas and sparkling wine for New Year’s. And so on for every month of the year!

Pat Dodd the Wine Dodd talks February & Valentine’s wine options.


Wines With Chocolate

It’s the time of year when we enjoy comfort food on a cold night and often reach for a nice chocolate dessert after our meal. Every year around now I start getting questions about what wine to serve when satisfying your sweet tooth?

Well, I’m a firm believer that ANY wine with food (or dessert) is better than NO wine with food. But, if the pairing is to be GREAT instead of just good—ESPECIALLY if you are pairing a wine with chocolate of any kind—then our next important food and wine pairing guideline to follow is:

Whenever possible, the WINE SHOULD BE SWEETER/LESS BITTER than the food.

Why? Chemistry! Our mouths taste sweet versus dry or bitter foods in very different ways. The MORE of something SWEET we eat, the LESS we taste it (Sweet cancels Sweet). But, the MORE of something BITTER that we eat, the MORE we taste it (Bitter builds on Bitter). So while we all want to Get Mo’Wine, we really don’t want to Get Mo’Bitter!

Chocolate desserts have both sweetness and bitterness (unless you are eating 100% Cacao chocolate—and who in their right mind does that?) so it is even more important that we pick a wine that is sweeter/less bitter than the food. Here are a few suggestions:

1) Wines to pair with Milk Chocolate:

a. White Wines—Riesling, Pinot Gris, Viognier, Late Harvest Semillon

b. Sweet Red Wines—Port and Late Harvest Zinfandel

c. Sweet Sparkling Wines—Asti Spumante, Sparkling Moscato, any labeled “Doux”

2) Wines to pair with 50%-65% Cacao Dark Chocolate:

a. Dry, Low Tannin Reds—Pinot Noir, Grenache, Barbera, Zinfandel, Red Blends

b. Semi-Sweet Sparkling Wines– Prosecco, any labeled “Extra Dry” (actually means “Semi-Sweet”)

3) Wines to pair with 70%-85% Cacao Dark Chocolate:

a. Dry, Moderate Tannin Reds—Merlot, Syrah, GSM Blends, Malbec (Note: Do NOT recommend Cabernet Sauvignon!)

b. Dry Sparkling Wines—Franciacorta, Cava, any labeled “Brut”

As always, if you need specific advice, just email me:

Cheers to you and yours!

Pat Dodd, The Wine Dodd

Starting on March 1st

Available at These Participating Restaurants