Breaking the myth Part 2: Can you pair pinot noir with chocolate?

While cheese may seem to be a more natural pairing with pinot noir, many people might think that chocolate pairs with pinot noir as well. We find many winery tasting rooms that offer chocolate pairings. There are chocolate companies that have created chocolates that are marketed to pair with specific wine varieties. And there are chocolates that have been infused with wine. But ask pinot noir producers if pinot noir pairs with chocolate and they might look horrified.

Chocolate will compete for space in your mouth just like wine does. White chocolate can be cloying and milk chocolate creamy and dark chocolate bitter. Do any of these really work with wine, let alone pinot noir? At World of Pinot Noir, the concept of pairing pinot noir and chocolate was tackled and again we had to painstakingly taste both sparkling and still pinot noir with chocolates to see if they actually work together.

Pinot and Chocolate

Instead of chocolate bars, we enjoyed the decadent truffles created by Santa Barbara-based Jessica Foster Confections. A 12-year-old company, Jessica Foster offers 30 different flavors of truffles.

Jessica Foster Confections

Each truffle is hand-dipped in dark chocolate resulting in a thin shell.

There is no sugar added to the chocolates and they are not too sweet. In selecting the truffles for the tasting, the goal was to try to match the body of the wine to the body of the chocolate.

Check out the chocolate and pinot pairings and read the complete story in the Napa Valley Register.