Monday, February 9, 2009

Vino and Chocolate for Valentine's Day

Red wine and dark chocolate. A tasty little combination, but only when paired well. As a general rule, chocolates higher in cocoa percentages are going to pair better with strong, more robust red wines. If you've been into the tasting room lately you have probably tried some of our Wine Lover's Chocolate-72% cocoa paired with our two spicy Zinfandels. For our heavier Estate Merlot and full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon keep the cocoa level around 55-58%. In my humble opinion, our lighter Pinot Noir might be better off with some velvety milk chocolate. Hey, why not treat yourself and your loved one to a little of both this Valentines Day weekend?

Most of us have heard about the heart-healthy properties of red wine and dark chocolate, but do we really understand the science behind it? Red wine contains important polyphenols such as flavonoids and resveratrol. Flavonoids also occur naturally in cocoa and contribute to the bitter taste of very dark chocolate. Various researches have found that these polyphenols contain antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Keep it in moderation along with a healthy, active lifestyle and you'll be ready to go!

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