Beginner’s Guide to Pairing Wine with Chocolate

Chocolate is a treat that almost everyone can admit they enjoy, and believe it or not, it often matches very well with our beloved wine! However, as with most food and wine pairings, it is easy to get that match wrong, especially since different types of chocolate have a rather distinct tastes, and vice versa.

For instance, choosing a slab of dark chocolate to go with your dry red will leave you with a bitter and unpleasant taste in your mouth. This is because both have rather high levels of tannins and therefore create an imbalance and clash of flavours on the tongue.

To avoid a nasty surprise, read on to understand the basics of pairing wine with chocolate.

Dark chocolate

With its deep, rich flavour, dark chocolate should be paired with a full-bodied wine that is able to match its stronger character. A wine with hints of darker fruits, like blackberry, cranberry and blueberry, can work wonders with a nice bar of dark chocolate.

For semi-sweet dark chocolate, Muscats and Syrahs work well and help in bringing out the flavours within the chocolate to provide a fantastic taste in the mouth. Ports are also a strong choice, especially the traditional Portuguese Port that has spicy cinnamon undertones and pairs excellently with high-cacao chocolate.

With regards to bittersweet chocolate, powerful wines like Merlots and Barbera help compliment the drier tones. Italian dessert wines make for a particularly strong combination with dark chocolate, especially a quality Vin Santo del Chianti, which brings out the sweet taste of cinnamon, cherries and nuts. These help in balancing the bitterness of the dark chocolate and the tannins.

Milk chocolate

Due to its creamier texture and sweet taste, milk chocolate can be paired with many different types of wine. In particular, dessert wines, such as Muscat, Riesling and PX Sherry pair well with milk chocolate. As a rule of thumb, the wine you are drinking should be sweeter than the chocolate, in order to avoid a bitter taste in the mouth.

Late-harvest red wines, like Syrah, Petite Syrah and Pinot Noir, often bring out nice, interesting flavours. Likewise, Ruby Port from Portugal brings out some berry flavours when consuming milk chocolate. If peach and strawberry appeal to you, then pairing your milk chocolate with Brachetto d’Acqui or a sparkling Lambrusco di Sorbara is recommended.

While the Racioto della Valpolicella is a somewhat rare Italian wine, produced in the same region as Amarones, no list of milk chocolate pairings would be complete without it. This sweet red is produced using dried grapes, which concentrate the sugar levels and make this wine type a gorgeous pairing for smooth, milk chocolate truffles.

White chocolate

White chocolate doesn’t technically contain cocoa, instead being made with cocoa fat, which gives it its buttery texture. One wine which pairs excellently with white chocolate is a good pinot noir, since the sweetness of the chocolate brings out the wine’s cherry, strawberry and raspberry elements, lifting the bitter taste and tannins.

Sweet wines like Moscato d’Asti, sherry and ice wines also bring out interesting fruity or sweet flavours.

General observations

The specific wines and tips given above are a great place for novices to start their chocolate and wine journey, but, as each person has their own unique palette, experimenting with our own choices is not always a bad thing.

Bear in mind though, that there are several general rules to follow if you would like to experiment with your own matches:

  • Lighter wines go with lighter foods, which means the richer the chocolate is, the more full-bodied your wine selection should be.
  • Cold desserts are best with wine. Although many of us will be able to enjoy a glass of wine with a warm chocolate-based dessert, the flavours will not come out as well, making them difficult to detect.
  • Think beyond the chocolate. For instance, if you are dipping some strawberries in melted chocolate, or have a fruity flavoured sauce, try to find the right wines to suit the different elements on your plate.

To discuss wine storage options, including oak wine racking and custom wine cellars, contact us today.

Why Oak is the Best Material for a Wine Rack

The most popular wine racks are generally made of wood, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles. Every wine enthusiast should remember to wisely choose a wine rack to store their bottles properly. A wine lover will need to invest in the perfect wine rack in order to grow their collection.

As finding the right wine rack for yourself can become a little tricky, this blog can be used as a guidance as to why oak might be the most suitable material for you.

Benefits of Oak Wine Racks

Aesthetics

For those who appreciate the more traditional look and rustic theme, the oak wine rack will be the material you will sway towards, as opposed to a metal wine rack. Metal wine racks, generally, are either black or silver and tend to give a more modernised feel. Depending on your preference, you are able to customize your ideal wine rack, ranging from light to dark oak colour. With a variety of oak colours to choose from, it is easy to compliment any room design by matching the décor and colours.

Most people keep the oak wood unfinished and prefer the natural look of the material, which is completely fine as it does not affect the wine. Oak wood that is not stained or finished tends to darken and gain richness as the years progress. However, you may like to opt for staining the oak to match the furniture in your home, which is also acceptable. It is recommended that the stain you use is water-based, as the smell from the oil-based finishes can escape into the cork of the wine, affecting the wine’s overall taste.

Space & Cost efficient

Oak can also be designed to provide the maximum storage to fit your home or commercial space. Picking an oak material is the most flexible way to meet your space requirements, particularly if you are someone who has limited space or are on a budget.

As the festive Christmas season is arriving, it is the time for family celebrations and consuming alcoholic drinks. A small oak wine rack can be placed over a counter, or, alternatively, installing a bigger rack in the dining room is a great investment to keep the spirit high and the party going!

Maintenance

Oak is extremely durable, provides a lot of strength, and is mostly straight- grained hardwood that has high shock resistance. There is very low maintenance required when it comes to cleaning your wine storage, with the need for rare dusting and ensuring the rack is secure, safe and tightly intact. An oak wine rack is a solution for those who would rather sit back and admire their wine collection, without feeling frustrated that the wine storage requires a good scrub.

Mobility

In comparison to cabinets or wine cellars, you are able to move oak wine racks into a different room, around the house or to a new area without much fuss.

Reminds you of an old wine cellar

The reason why other wine experts tend to favour an oak wine rack is that they are produced from reclaimed oak barrels. The fact that oak wine racks remind them of an old wine cellar is an attractive characteristic and why people think this material is a great fit for their home wine collection.

How to keep your wine cellar at the correct temperature.

Although climate control is recommended, in many environments it is by all means not essential. There are many old basements in the UK that offer a passive environment (one where the temperature sits in the ideal wine range and that fluctuates very slowly), perfect for wine, predominantly in Victorian and Georgian houses. Many wine experts actually believe that a passive wine cellar environment helps the wine develop complexity that artificial environments just cannot match.

You would have to monitor the temperature and humidity of the cellar over a decent amount of time to decide whether it is fit for wine storage so if you wanted it as a cellar in the short term then you may need to install a wine cellar cooling unit. These units are not the same as air conditioning systems and are built to maintain the temperature of the wine cellar in a range of 10-14% generally and a humidity of 50-80%.

There are two main types of wine cellar units that you can choose from Monobloc systems and Split systems.

The Monobloc systems are predominantly the cheaper option but do need specific room conditions to be in place before you use them. They for instance have requirements on floor, ceiling and wall insulation as well as certain venting, wall placement needs etc.

Split systems may be slightly more expensive but have the advantage of normally being quieter and also they are less intrusive as they don’t have such high room requirements.

The two main suppliers are Koolspace and Fondis and both can be found on our website, so for any advice or if you have any queries please give us a call or email.

Constantine Bay Stores Wine Racking By A & W MOORE WINERACKS

A & W MOORE are proud to reveal the New Retail Wine Racking for the Constantine Bay Stores (Padstow, Cornwall. PL28 8JJ). Which displays over a hundred different varieties of wine.

The friendly and helpful staff would be pleased to see you to discuss your wine requirements or visit their website www.constantinebaystores.com to find out more.

If you are interested in having your shop fitted out with Wine Storage display racking  check out our  full details of A & W Moore’s Retail Wine Racking at  www.wineracks.co.uk/wine-racks-range/shop-restaurant-bar-racks/

or simply give us a Call  or Email and see how we can help you. Tel: 01159441434  Email: information@wineracks.co.uk

 

Best Wine Bars in the UK

Every wine connoisseur will enjoy an authentic wine tasting. Although trips to foreign vineyards aren’t a last minute option for a Saturday night treat, finding a wine tasting bar with highly knowledgeable owners, staff and exceptional crus could be the ideal solution.
Whether you’re with a group of close friends and family or need some time alone, a wine tasting is a perfect opportunity to enjoy some sumptuous wines and extend your repertoire.

In this blog, we look at some of the best wine bars and shops in the UK, all offering sumptuous wine-lists and unrivalled expertise.

Loki Wine Merchants

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Image from lokiwine.co.uk

Loki Wine merchants in Birmingham is a truly singular, authentic and wine-focused establishment, humble yet incredibly refined in its wine expertise. As the most awarded wine merchants in Birmingham, Loki offers their patrons a diverse range of fantastic fine wines and expert advice, whether you decide to stay for a drink using their self-service wine dispensers or choosing a bottle from the shop, or alternatively decide to drink that bottle elsewhere.

The Sampler Wine Shop

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Image from thesampler.co.uk

With a vast wine collection of over 80 different wines, the Sampler is an unpretentious, chilled wine shop in London, offering refined wine tasting experiences to experts and novices since it opened in 2006. The wine dispensers fit in intriguingly with wine racks openly displayed and standalone wine cases, surprisingly demystifying wine shops to ensure it is all about the wines and there taste.

Hotel du Vin Wine Bar

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Image from 2850.co.uk

Exposed brick walls, high stools and a bustling atmosphere, Vinoteca is an ideal hideaway for wine connoisseur enjoying a bohemian touch to European cuisine and carefully crafted selection of wines. The latest branch opening in Soho, Vinoteca offers table services, bar services and an on-site wine store.

2850 Wine Workshop & Kitchen

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Image from thesampler.co.uk

Spread across 2 floors and with an al-fresco dining option, 28-50 in London is a laid-back, wine bar and restaurant offering a varied and seasonal wine list for a drink or a meal. 28-50 also offers wine tastings and workshops throughout the year for the most passionate wine lovers. Its contrasting decors bring a unique industrial touch to the place, with exposed wine case racks populated the walls, and island bar encouraging a convivial atmosphere.

Gordon’s Wine Bar

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Image from gordonswinebar.com

Gordon’s Bar is spectacular for two reasons, the atmosphere and the wine. Straightaway, as you stepped in, it feels like you’ve walked back in time. Established in 1890, Gordon’s is probably one of London’s oldest wine bar that never fails to astonish. With a legacy of famous names among their wine loving clientele, be assured to find Gordon’s Bar a completely exemplary and unique experience that you will not forget. If you get the opportunity to go to a wine tasting at Gordon’s Bar, don’t miss it. If you are interested in bespoke wine racks for a bar, shop, restaurant or other commercial premises, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us

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Top 5 Wine Blogs to Follow

There are a good number of wine enthusiasts blogging about their love of wine but how can you separate the pro from the wino?

Here are our top wine bloggers and writers we recommend you follow for the best news and tips about wine.

A&W Moore’s Top 5 English Sparkling Wines

English sparkling wines have come a long way in recent years; once champagne was considered the only fizz worth its weight, but gradually we’ve started to discover the treasure trove of excellent vineyards that are here on our doorstep. With summer fast approaching, there’s no better time to put a bottle of bubbly on ice, so we’ve put our heads together to come up with our favourite selection of English sparkling wines, just in time for your garden party:

How to Choose the Perfect Wine Rack

Wine racks are a fantastic way to store wine, and great options are available on any budget. As well as looking good, they, along with good temperature control, will help to keep your wine in optimum condition, and they can be used to enhance or organise a cellar, or simply for easy access in living areas.

2014 – Our Year In The Press

As the year begins to draw to a close, it is natural to want to reflect on achievements over the last twelve months, and we here at Wine Racks are no exception. 2014 has been a truly great year for us, particularly as our products were featured in two prime-time television programmes in June and September. It’s not every day you’re on the telly, so we’d like to share these special moments with you.

George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces – Channel 4

Series 3, Episode 4

George Clarke

In this series Architect George Clarke meets with property owners who have turned their small spaces into incredible places to live, work and play. Our bespoke oak wine racks were featured in an amazing episode in series 3, aired on 26 June, which followed a Manchester couple, Mark and Clare, who decided to turn their basement into an underground casino, complete with cellar! Mark described the moment the wine racks went in as a highlight of his overall project and states on his own website that WineRacks stood out as offering exceptional service – we think they look fantastic! You can watch a clip from the show here.

Bespoke Oak Wine Rack featured in ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’

 

New Tricks – BBC One

Series 11, Episode 7

The Cast of New Tricks

One of our bespoke wine cabinets, made from galvanised steel and stained pine, was also featured in an episode of the crime solving drama ‘New Tricks’ on BBC One. The episode was entitled ‘In Vino Vertias’, a latin phrase which literally translates as ‘In wine there is truth’ – we couldn’t agree more! It was aired on 29 September, and formed part of the 11th series of the long running show. The episode followed the mysterious death of a landlord from an old London pub, where our famous wine rack could be spotted in the cellar. The murder was investigated by series regulars Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Dennis Waterman and Denis Lawson, and took the characters to a vineyard in Kent. You can watch a clip from the episode here.

Bespoke Pine Wine Cabinet featured in ‘New Tricks’

We’re really proud of these achievements, even if we already secretly knew that our products deserved the limelight! If you’d like to start 2015 with your very own wine rack, take a look at our full range or get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.


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