But if instead you have a chocolate bar rich in cocoa, let's say 80%, as Salgado, Lindt or Pacari offer in our market, things will change. And a lot. In these chocolates there are almost no fats –as suggested by their cocoa percentage- while the perfume is balanced and with fruity and spicy lines, which added to the typical bitterness of chocolate give a combo with which powerful and fruity wines, with little wood , combine perfectly. It does not matter if they are Malbec, Cabernet or Tempranillo. But, to handle the pairing rules well, it is better to know some of its keys.
5 keys to a perfect agreement
The point with the pairing is that it is not unique, nor with universal validity for all palates. There are a couple of rules, however, that you should keep in mind. In a nutshell, they are:
Synthesis or contrast? It would be the first decision at the time of any agreement. That is to say, to be clear that when combining wines and foods what is sought is that they merge or contrast with each other. For example: nervous young whites are perfect for flavor contrasts that rekindle the mouth. Whereas the old, subtle reds, it is better to accompany them with calm dishes. Or late and sweet wines in general, it is better to contrast them with salty tastes, to break the empalago. Which brings us to the next point.
Intensity of tastes. Key to any pairing, the intensity of taste and flavor is the main variable to analyze. We explain ourselves with an example. Oysters are powerful, brackish, and iodized. And while a young red has the power to counterbalance oysters, it has the wrong flavor; An aromatic white, on the other hand, of similar intensity and firm acidity, will work like lemon in seafood, providing freshness, just like a sparkling wine. In the case of chocolate, following the example of the day, which is intense and with fruity and spicy aromas, a powerful red will be necessary, better if it is fortified - port type - because high alcohol will increase its potency.
Aromas Just as there are perfumes that come together - flowers and fruits; meats and spices; to give two examples- there is another that generates a certain repulsion –as ammonia flavors with blood flavors-. So when it comes to combining wine and food it is better to take into account the aromatic arrangement. Thus, a spicy and powerful red will combine better with a baked meat rich in flavor and spices; and a sparkling, scented white will work best with rotten cheeses. The key, in any case, is that the intensities balance.
Acidity. It is the secret of any balance. In the same way that a lemonade loses intensity if sugar is added, wines can lower or enhance the acidity of certain foods. The ideal example is onion soup: acidic par excellence, it is better to accompany it with whites of rich freshness, so that the onion does not dominate the palate. Instead, a sweet dessert, it is better to accompany it with a fresh wine, so that it morijere and save us from the empalago. And at the same time, a solid lentil stew will work best with a young, fruity red, which will renew the mouth with each sip, providing acidity and a differentiated aromatic palette from the dish.
Texture. It is the last step to observe in any pairing. And it is important to keep it in mind to avoid skidding. The classic is that of the cooked egg yolk, which is so dry and floury, it ends up dominating with flavor and texture any wine - a little less than whites - not if it is raw or semi-raw. Another is a boiled potato that, without olive, is unfeasible beyond water, while with olive it pairs wonderfully with light and fruity reds. The last complex case is the creamy textures, which pair ten points with creamy whites, as reserves, or, by contrast, with fresh and fruity reds.