Sweetness in a food typically will increase the bitter taste within a wine, which is why many suggest the wine must be sweeter than the food for the two to pair well together.
Most milk chocolate has a high amount of sugar, whereas dark chocolate tends to have minimal sugar. The amount of cocoa used to make chocolate is what determines if it is classified as milk or dark chocolate. To be dark chocolate, it must be at least 35% cocoa, but you can find bars with as much as 90% cocoa content. The higher percentage of cocoa, the less sugar and milk products which is why dark chocolate is often bitter. It’s this bitterness that creates a delicious pairing option by causing the fruit flavors in the red wine to pop!
But there’s more...
Dark chocolate and red wine also pair healthful benefits…
Dark chocolate is a more nutritious option, not just because it has less sugar, but also because it contains more polyphenols. The flavonoids in cocoa are antioxidants and may help your heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of blood clotting.
Red wine contains the polyphenols anthocyanin and resveratrol, which research has found have positive effects on cardiovascular health.
By pairing the two you’re creating harmony on your palate and in your body!