A concise guide to the art of pairing chocolate dishes with various types of wines.
Although Pech (Chocolate Soiree, 2014, etc.) admits that her background is primarily in chocolate, not wine, she wrote this book in collaboration with one of her fellow chocolatiers, who is an oenophile. As such, the work expands considerably on a chapter from her previous book. She offers a brief history of her entrepreneurial background and how she became involved in wine and chocolate tastings. After discussing the similarities between cacao and grape cultivation, the author presents her technique for proper chocolate and wine tasting in detail. She goes on to offer up a list of 40 different wines, ranging from light white wines, such as zinfandel, to Champagne, port, and dark red wines, such as malbecs. For each, she suggests three different chocolate pairings of different levels of adventurousness. (As a general rule of thumb for readers, she asserts that full-bodied wines pair better with darker chocolates.) The appendices include additional information on how to prepare a tasting, including advice on how to microwave chocolate to create the right consistency. Overall, this book makes for a useful food guide, in large part because of its brevity and direct approach. Pech injects enough wit and humor into her writing that the book never feels like a mere grocery list. She amusingly reminds readers, for example, that if a pairing goes awry, the easiest way to solve it is just to keep drinking the wine to balance everything out. Some of the suggested pairings may be difficult to pull off without substantial preparation, such as candied orange peel dipped in dark chocolate. Then again, one imagines that such difficulty would come with a substantial payoff.
A useful, enjoyable read about the restrained debauchery of consuming chocolate with the fruit of the vine.