The Perfect Pairing….wine and chocolate!

The Perfect Pairing….wine and chocolate!

by Beth Heiserman


For anyone who knows me, you know I love M&M’s and thought was my grandma’s fault. Every time, I go shopping at Target, I HAVE to peek at the seasonal flavors. I love to pair the flavors with notes from the wines. For instance, our 2009 Merlot paired well with the mint, the 2010 Merlot with the pumpkin pie and the 2011 Merlot with the coffee nut.

Reyes 2010 Merlot pairs perfectly with the pumpkin pie M&M, it also pairs well with pork chops with a cinnamon jerk rub, Toscano cheese dusted in cinnamon, and many things you might enjoy for Thanksgiving. It has won silver awards from the 2012 O.C. Fair Commercial Wine Competition and the 2012 Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition. Plus, bronzes from the 2012 Los Angeles International Wine Competition, Sunset International Wine Competition and the 2013 San Diego County Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

 I had a couple that came in last weekend, the gentleman loved wine and wanted his girlfriend to enjoy it too. He brought her to Reyes Winery to explore the variety we offer. She preferred with sweet white wines, yet never tried a red before. I asked her what fruits or spices she likes. Strawberries, coffee, raspberries and few others she named. I first had her try our 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon which has notes of dried strawberries and peppercorns….and yes, I do have a strawberry M&M’s. I had her first sip a little bit of the wine and then eat the M&M and while its still in your mouth finish it with the wine. She was so amazed how the wine wasn’t as dry with the chocolate. That goes for any wine, when you have not just chocolate but cheese or a steak dinner.

Pairing wines with food can be very beneficial to each other. The level of fat of the food will depend upon the dryness of the wine. Always think opposites, a very dry wine needs a high fat content food. Then again, a smooth wine could pair with a low-fat content food, like dark chocolate or a dry cheese.

If you come to the tasting room, mention M&M’s to me and you just might be surprised at some of the pairings I do.