Some of us may not need a special occasion to indulge in the sweeter things in life - but in the meltdown to National Chocolate Week, October 14-20, vino lovers have the perfect excuse to double their pleasure.
Contrary to popular belief, champagne and chocolate are not natural bedfellows.
Instead, save the fresh, dry bubbles for savoury snacks and discover how fine, dark chocolates suit inky, full-bodied reds. Creamy milk chocolate tastes divine with a sweet moscatel, while white chocolate and fruit and nut selections come into their own with a glass of sherry.
To satisfy those cocoa cravings and enhance your drinking pleasure, here are some suggestions to grace the wine rack.
Carmenere is Chile’s calling card and when the rich, spicy, savoury flavours of this grape are blended with cabernet sauvignon and a splash of shiraz, reds such as Estevez Cabernet Sauvignon Carmenere 2011, Valle de Maule, Chile (£4.99, Aldi) take on a soft, ripe, earthy mouthfeel with a lick of spice, firm tannins and with alluring aromas of cocoa, this a wine to enjoy with dark chocolate bars.
Italian wines are renowned for being great with food, and for creamy milk chocolate moments the light flavours and low tannins in a basic valpolicella, such as Winemakers’ Selection by Sainsbury’s Valpolicella 2012, Italy (£5.99, Sainsbury’s), will compliment the sweetness.
For pure, unadulterated indulgence, try a glass of Caversham Cream Sherry, Jerez, Spain (£5.29, 75cl, Aldi) with chocolate fruit and nut bars, white chocolate or chocolate mousse. The dark richness, fruitcake notes, caramel and soft raisin flavours are extremely moreish.