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Wine pairings with Chocolate Cake

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I am trying to figure if it is possible to pair a dark chocolate with almond filling cake with a wine. Any recommendations? I have read from the web that a cabernet sauvignon to a pinot noir to a port works. That's a pretty wild spectrum. I would like to narrow the field. Can someone offer me some specific options?

Thanks
post #2 of 34
Just my 2 cents, but I would not even think of pairing a cab or pinot with that. You want something sweet, yet with some acid to cut through it. I would suggest an ice wine, a late harvest, or a sharp, off-dry Reisling. Nothing wrong with a port, per se, but I'd go for probably the ice wine myself.
post #3 of 34
Milk. Seriously.
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
I am trying to figure if it is possible to pair a dark chocolate with almond filling cake with a wine. Any recommendations? I have read from the web that a cabernet sauvignon to a pinot noir to a port works. That's a pretty wild spectrum. I would like to narrow the field. Can someone offer me some specific options? Thanks
Oh, it's absolutely possible. Which wine depends on how sweet the cake is and the chocolate it's made from. Chocolate cake varies so much in style and execution. However, as Cabs and the other reds vary as much, I would turn to the more-consistent Port. Plus it should always pair well, if not exceptionally. Pairing a red wine with cake may work out better, but you have to control all the variables and nail the pairing. Or you could send me the cake, I'll work it out, and you can have another :-). . So, go and grab a bottle of LBV Port (Late Bottled Vintage), for $35 or so -- I like Noval. I don't really like Tawnys with chocolate, and Rubys are two simple and dull. Bonus points for the pairing is that port also goes well with nuts, though I prefer Madeira. ~ Huntsman
post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Milk. Seriously.


That was what I thought of first!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huntsman View Post
Oh, it's absolutely possible.

Which wine depends on how sweet the cake is and the chocolate it's made from. Chocolate cake varies so much in style and execution. However, as Cabs and the other reds vary as much, I would turn to the more-consistent Port. Plus it should always pair well, if not exceptionally. Pairing a red wine with cake may work out better, but you have to control all the variables and nail the pairing. Or you could send me the cake, I'll work it out, and you can have another :-).

. So, go and grab a bottle of LBV Port (Late Bottled Vintage), for $35 or so -- I like Noval. I don't really like Tawnys with chocolate, and Rubys are two simple and dull. Bonus points for the pairing is that port also goes well with nuts, though I prefer Madeira.

~ Huntsman


It's a birthday cake so it's gonna be pretty rich. The cake itself is gonna be from Two Little Red Hens in Manhattan. I myself am a big fan of port so I might just go that route. I was actually thinking about a Sauternes or Tokaji as the 375ml bottles can be had for ~$35-45 as the LBV ports but those are from second tier producers. Recently I tried a Bonnezeaux from the Loire region in France and thought it was great. The Bonnezeaux is also made from grapes with noble rot as the Sauternes and Tokaji.

I still have about 2 weeks to come up with something so anymore ideas are fully welcomed.
post #6 of 34
You could try Brachetto, Vin Santo , Banyuls or Tawny Port. However, I think you generally will enjoy dessert wines more with cheese or by themselves and dessert more without wine.
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Milk. Seriously.

post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitMan009 View Post
That was what I thought of first! It's a birthday cake so it's gonna be pretty rich. The cake itself is gonna be from Two Little Red Hens in Manhattan. I myself am a big fan of port so I might just go that route. I was actually thinking about a Sauternes or Tokaji as the 375ml bottles can be had for ~$35-45 as the LBV ports but those are from second tier producers. Recently I tried a Bonnezeaux from the Loire region in France and thought it was great. The Bonnezeaux is also made from grapes with noble rot as the Sauternes and Tokaji. I still have about 2 weeks to come up with something so anymore ideas are fully welcomed.
The Tokaj/Sauternes route is similar to Piobaire's Eiswien, and he knows his stuff. I'd stay with Port if it was my cake, though I'll try and Eis if I have one open in proximity of chocolate cake sometime.
post #9 of 34
I am not a believer in attempting to pair wines with foods that are not wine friendly in the least. There are a lot of things you could drink that would be great with chocolate cake. Among them would be espresso, milk or a smokey Scotch. The idea is for the cake to taste better than it would have without the drink, and accomplishing that with a wine is nearly impossible. Why don't you just buy a nice bottle of Sauternes to drink after you have finished your cake? That way everything will taste right.
post #10 of 34
champagne would probably fare along well. Tokaj would be good, think white and sweet. Savoian Straw dried grape wine would rock as well IMO. (vin de paille)
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffe Napolitano View Post
You could try Brachetto, Vin Santo , Banyuls or Tawny Port. However, I think you generally will enjoy dessert wines more with cheese or by themselves and dessert more without wine.

cheese goes with red wine dessert with white.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
Why don't you just buy a nice bottle of Sauternes to drink after you have finished your cake?

This would be my advice as well. Wash it down with some of God's gift to wine.
post #13 of 34
sauterne is pretty expensive though......
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by hisroadside View Post
sauterne is pretty expensive though......

But not everything costs as much as an Y'qem. Some very nice stuff can be purchased in the $30-40 range for a split. Ditto ice wine.

Why I would pick the ice wine vs. a Sauterne or similar wine is the method of concentration. I find more citrus/acid in a wine from a frozen grape vs. one from a rotten grape. Just my taste buds, I have no technical data to back that up. I want the acid to cut through the cake.

At the end of the day, and I'm not sure if it came through in my first post, but I am with the others about not pairing the cake with any wine.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffe Napolitano View Post
You could try Brachetto, Vin Santo , Banyuls or Tawny Port. However, I think you generally will enjoy dessert wines more with cheese or by themselves and dessert more without wine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I am not a believer in attempting to pair wines with foods that are not wine friendly in the least. There are a lot of things you could drink that would be great with chocolate cake. Among them would be espresso, milk or a smokey Scotch. The idea is for the cake to taste better than it would have without the drink, and accomplishing that with a wine is nearly impossible. Why don't you just buy a nice bottle of Sauternes to drink after you have finished your cake? That way everything will taste right.

these are both excellent pieces of advice. if wine i'd suggest banyuls or something similar.

i think it would be more impressive to either have a nice cheese course with wine before dessert, or even fancier would be two desserts, e.g., a creamy fruit soup (e.g., bluberry) or creamy sweet walnut soup each of which would go well with wine, and then serve the cake with coffee or espresso or the like
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