Cheese & chocolates make a luscious pairing that can’t be beat – the hint of salt in cheese perfectly balances the roasty saltiness of chocolate. Add a glass of bubbly and you’re on a direct flight to Sexytown.
If you’ve never paired cheese with chocolate or sparkling wine before, look to these 5 tips to assist:
- The best cheeses to pair with chocolate have a touch of saltiness
- The best chocolates to pair with cheese have a bit of fruitiness
- The best sparkling wines to pair have a good level of acidity
- Creamy cheeses are ideal for pairing with both sparklers and chocolates
- Look for chocolate in unusual sources, such as chocolate-covered nuts and fruit
Of course, you can always just grab our already-perfect Chocolate & Cheese Collection to be sent straight to your door. And to create your own pairing at home, check out my 5 favorite cheeses to pair with sparkling wines & chocolate:
1. Delice d’Argental
A silky, buttery cow’s milk triple-crème from Burgundy, France, this cheese is one of our most popular. Made with a touch of crème fraiche, it’s basically the closest you can get to butter and still be cheese. With each bite, the cheese will coat your palate; and each sip of bubbly wine will scrub it clean – so the next bite of cheese is as tasty as the first. The tangy saltiness from the added cream makes it a stunner with a simple milk chocolate bar or chocolate-covered strawberries.
2. Brabander Goat Gouda
Made by much more artisanal methods than your average goat gouda, Brabander has a great complexity of flavor: milky, caramelized, stone fruit. It’s aged in natural cellars for 6-9 months, which gives its supple texture just a bit of those crunchy bits we all love. Although it’s made from goat’s milk, it’s super-smooth, with no earthiness whatsoever. It’s a goat cheese beloved by all! Pair this full-flavored cheese with chocolate-covered figs for the ultimate treat.
Like Manchego? You’ll love this Spanish sheep’s milk – it’s like Manchego’s hotter older brother. Our Zamorano is aged for at least 6 months, which gives it a wonderfully firm, flaky, open texture. It’s flavors are buttery and salty with a hint of toasted nuts – perfect for pairing with chocolate-covered almonds.
4. That’ll Do Ewe
This local gem is a rare soft-ripened sheep’s milk cheese. Due to the protein structure of sheep’s milk, they’re most often made into firmer cheeses. Not so with this one! The silky, creamy That’ll Do Ewe is produced in eastern Pennsylvania, right in our backyard. Think sheep’s milk brie: it’s buttery and rich, but with a bright, tangy note to lighten it up and a touch of sweetness. All of that means it’s perfect for chocolate pairing, especially with chocolate truffles.
5. Mycella Blue
This rare blue cheese has the perfect balance of fruit notes & saltiness, with no earthiness to clash with the chocolate. From Bornholm Island, in Denmark, it is simply a perfectly balanced blue cheese. Crumbly in texture, yet creamy on the palate, it is also a great match for bubbly – particularly one with a good amount of residual sugar to balance it’s boldness. Pair with a rich, fruity dark chocolate.