Wine and Chocolate 101 From Andrea Immer Robinson and Leslie SbroccoJun 24th, 2011 | By Cloutwomen | Category: Food & Wine, Gourmet Pantry
By Kaye Cloutman, Photography by Denice Sy
Wine and Chocolates- however way you want to combine the two, the outcome is always heavenly! And there’s no better way to learn pairing them than to have the beautiful tandem of Leslie Sbrocco and Andrea Immer Robinson show us how to throw fun parties and be choco-wino matchmakers. We were able to catch the ladies recently at the much anticipated and celebrated San Francisco Chocolate Salon. They poured, gave out delectable chocolates and chatted with the audience mostly sharing useful tips to those who were a little challenged on the subject matter.
Pairing Tips from Leslie
- I really like wines with a touch of sweetness - they pair much better overall with chocolate.
- Moscato and white chocolate covered apricots, Tawny Port and sea salt caramel chocolate, or Madeira and dark chocolate are some of my favorites.
- I’d say dry yet fleshy and fruity reds like Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah Malbec are the best ones to pair with chocolate.
- For me it must be dark chocolate at least 60 percent cocoa. The more bittersweet notes and less overt sweetness – the better with dry reds.
- Pinot Noir works with a very bittersweet chocolate but not with anything milk chocolate…too sweet!
- I don’t like Sauvignon Blanc with chocolate but can see a slightly sweeter version of Viognier with white chocolate and fruit infused chocolates.
- A sweeter style of Gewurztraminer would be ideal with a chocolate with a spicy kick like a chili chocolate.
Andrea’s Top Pairs
- Chardonnay – Godiva Salted Caramel (needs to be barrel fermented chard)
- Cabernet Franc – Vosges Matcha Bar
- Cabernet Sauvignon – Lindt 90% cacao bar
- Merlot – Godiva 85% Santo Domingo
- Zinfrandel – Alter Eco Quinoa Midnight Crunch
- Syrah – Tcho
- Viognier – Woodhouse Chocolates Browned Butter Ganache truffle
- Sauvignon Blanc – Goat Milk Candy Company (Seattle) goat cheese truffle
- Pinot Noir – Godiva Raspberry & Almond
- Gewurztraminer – Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar
My favorite chocolates to pair with wine
Be a wine expert in no time!
When Leslie Sbrocco asks her audiences what types of information they want in a new book, the overwhelming response is a portable compilation of top picks. Her Simple and Savvy Wine Guide is packed with all kinds of glance-and-go lists for everything from what wine to drink with Thai take-out, to wines perfect for drinking in a bubble bath. Leslie also offers up an entire section based on her popular concept of wine makeovers, in which she takes an expensive wine and offers a similar tasting, less expensive version.
Andrea Robinson’s 2011 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone
Andrea Robinson’s Wine Buying Guide for Everyone focuses on reviewing and presenting the best broadly available and affordable wines to arm everyday consumers with the advice they need to choose according to their taste preference, meal, and occasion. The book is also packed with educational tools including a mini-wine course, entertaining with wine tips, a restaurant and retail wine-buying section, and Kitchen Survivor scores gauging how each wine holds up as a leftover. She also includes a section on affordable agers (wines that don’t cost a fortune but that improve with cool-and-dark aging conditions), and a listing of the world’s classic wines. Her friendliness, relatable descriptors and mouthwatering pairings, and expertise make Andrea one of the most embraced and trusted personalities in the world of wine, and make her guide a must-have repeat-buy for everyone.
Wine for Women: A Guide to Buying, Pairing, and Sharing Wine
“Wine is not to fear or revere, but to enjoy,” says Leslie Sbrocco, wine expert. And that’s exactly what she shows you how to do in Wine for Women, the first wine book written exclusively for women — the majority of wine consumers. In Wine for Women, Leslie Sbrocco scraps the stuffy wine-speak and deals with what women really want to know about wine. The book includes shopping guides with hundreds of recommended wines, quick ideas for wine-friendly meals, and creative tips for sharing wine with family and friends. Confused between Chardonnay and Champagne? Think little black dress versus sequins. And Pinot Gris? Think your wine wardrobe’s basic jeans. With her relaxed, friendly approach, Leslie makes it easy to understand the differences between wines and encourages women to explore and enjoy wine in their everyday lives.
Great Wine Made Simple: Straight Talk from a Master Sommelier
Andrea Immer Robinson genuinely knows more about wine than most wine lovers could ever hope to learn. But she doesn’t believe that you have to join a stuffy, exclusive wine-tasting set, or study a lot, to become a savvy wine buyer. Unlike other wine guides, Great Wine Made Simple makes it easy to master the ins and outs of choosing a wine that you and your guests will love—on any budget. In her down-to-earth style, Andrea guides you through follow-along-at-home wine tastings that are easy, fun, and affordable, and even suggests a milk tasting for understanding variations in wine-body style. Building on this foundation, she covers the rest of the wine landscape with her inimitable style, candor, and humor, from classic regions to new tastes, plus a bevy of practical issues like wine gear and proper storage. A refreshing blend of in-depth knowledge and accessibility, Great Wine Made Simple is a welcome resource for those who are intrigued by wine but don’t know where to start.