February 8, 2007
Wine and Chocolate: Rhapsody or Rift?

Most wines don't go with most chocolates, but as Valentine's Day nears winemakers and chocolatiers love to team up to try to sweet talk wine enthusiasts into thinking such a marriage is made in heaven. (Why, then, do they tend to call these events by such names as "Death by Chocolate?")

Of course, there can be exceptions, they just aren't as numerous as vintners and confectioners want people to think. Now, just in time for Valentine's Day this year, Elin McCoy, a longtime, open-minded wine writer - she's the author of 2005's penetrating biography of uber-critic Robert M. Parker Jr., "The Emperor of Wine" - has done some personal but comprehensive research aimed at finding the best pairings of wine and chocolate.

By my experience, and by the astuteness of her palate, I trust her overall advice and her specific suggestions. Make sure the wine is sweeter than the chocolate, for one. Forget milk chocolate and white chocolate, for another. Ditto for sweet whites like Sauternes and late-harvest rieslings.

She has several specific matches to recommend, including some involving the often overlooked muscats of Australia. If you are one of those romantics who just has to have wine and chocolate on Valentine's Day, check out her complete report at today's Bloomberg News.

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