Monday, February 13, 2012


Valentine's Day is upon us.  Much has been written throughout time on love potions, aphrodisiacs, romance and ways to woo, court and express three words - "I love you."  In case you may still be looking for an idea or two to let that special someone (or those special someones) know how much they mean to you this blog entry will offer a few suggestions; some traditional, others perhaps a bit more unique. 

Wine and chocolate is a fairly traditional choice for Valentine's gifting.  A first rule of thumb for pairing wines and chocolate is to remember that the percentage of cacao in the chocolate will determine with what it pairs best.  The chocolate of a light milk chocolate will be drowned by a heavy cabernet sauvignon.  Conversely, the flavor of a 90% cacao chocolate will clash dramatically with a  sauvignon blanc.  So think about how bold, rich and powerful the wine is, then make your chocolate choice.

White chocolate pairs nicely with Champagne (or a sparkling wine), as does very light milk chocolate. If you like pinot noir, get a slightly darker chocolate ... merlot, darker still ... cabernet or zinfandel, super dark and rich. And if  extreme decadence is your pleasure, then pair a good Port with dark chocolate truffles.       
Now if you are in a baking mood, you might want to try this Chocolate-Red Wine Cake for your sweetheart.   Inspired by  Anne Willan's 2001 Cooking with Wine, this fluffy, not-too-sweet cake, uses just enough wine in the batter to give it a slight boozy flavor.

Veering from tradition a bit, instead of trying to find a wine to go with your chocolate how about pairing a beer with your chocolates?  The malty flavor of a Belgian dubbel goes well with tangy, fruity chocolates.  Traditional lambics and/or sours can make a nice match with white chocolates.  Milk stouts (brewed with lactose sugar which adds sweetness and body to the beer) complement coffee ganaches or intense dark chocolates well.  And last, but not least spiced chocolates and Youngs Double Chocolate Stout make for a yummy match.  



Thanks Martha!




 If you are feeling crafty you might want to try a hand at creating a Valentine of X's & O's like these:

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy St. Trifon's Day!
Thanks to Garrett's Flower Shop for the Carnations!   


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