Why you should NEVER pair chocolate and champagne: Sommelier reveals why the luxury treats don’t go together as ‘bitterness and acidity confuses flavour’ and why you should gift fizz with POPCORN instead
- Sommelier and founder of Michelin-starred Kitchen Table Sandia Chang said that bitterness of chocolate ‘confuses’ the acidity of champagne so pair badly
- Suggests pairing fizz with oysters or truffle popcorn, and if you want to give your loved one chocolate go for a sweeter fortified wine for Valentine’s Day instead
- Added that champagne also goes well with pizza and fried chicken for a relaxed Valentine’s Day
Many people will gift champagne and chocolate to loved ones today as a sweet gift to celebrate Valentine’s.
But the combination of the two treats should never be paired together, a leading sommelier has warned.
Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Sandia Chang, Sommelier, founder of online fine winery the Bubbleshop and co-founder of two Michelin-starred Kitchen Table in London explained that the bitterness of chocolate ‘confuses’ the acidity of champagne meaning you lose the flavour of both.
Instead she suggests pairing fizz with oysters or truffle popcorn, and if you want to give your loved one chocolate go for a sweeter fortified wine instead.
Many people will gift champagne and chocolate to loved ones today as a sweet gift to celebrate Valentine’s. But the combination of the two treats should never be paired together, a leading sommelier has warned (stock image)
‘I find that the bitterness in chocolate really confuses the taste of wine and especially champagne, which has a higher acidity,’ she explained.
‘A better pairing for Valentine’s Day would be champagne and oysters because the minerality in the oysters matches really well with the chalky notes of champagne.
‘If you’re opting for lobster or seafood then a fuller bodied champagne, such as Olivier Horiot, 5 Sens, Extra Brut, is the perfect accompaniment.
The best aphrodisiac dishes and pairings for Valentine’s
Chanel Owen, Sommelier at London’s Michelin starred Pied à Terre said: ‘Salt reacts much better with wine [than sugar]- the combination of flavours are very acute.
‘It diminishes floral and fruity elements and an oaked white like Pouilly Fume or aged Sancerre doubles down on the creaminess of seafood and other salty dishes so pair these with caviar, oysters, olives or hard cheeses.
‘Curries and spice are a known aphrodisiac.
‘Spice inflames the texture, acidity and tanning in the wines whether its coming from ginger, aromatics or harsher flavours so avoid dry wines and opt for aromatic grapes like Beaujolais, GSM South Australian blends or Fruity styles of Pinot Noir such as Californian.’
Sandia added that oysters are great for Valentine’s Day because they’re an ‘aphrodisiac’ and the ‘perfect champagne accompaniment’.
If you’re instead opting for have steak for Valentine’s Day dinner, Sandia suggests ‘Rosé champagne rather than a classic glass of red’.
‘Skin macerated rosé champagne has a great amount of structure and tannins as well as being a bit lighter and more refreshing than red wine,’ she explained.
And if you want to stick to chocolate for your Valentine’s fare opt for a sweet wine to go with it.
‘I tend to go for richer sweet wines such as Recioto della Valpolicella or a fortified wine such as a madiera,’ Sandia explained.
‘White chocolate, however, actually goes well with champagne. I would pair white chocolate with a full bodied, oaky style champagne.
‘Or pair champagne with something simple such as truffle popcorn, crisps, charcuterie and cheese.
‘I don’t think there is any other gift pairings that are totally wrong.
‘But things that you wouldn’t expect to go with champagne are junk food dishes like pizza and fried chicken.
‘A romantic night can be as simple as sharing a bottle of Champagne and a pizza’.