I continue my journey through special wines. Their perfect combination is with chocolate: “Chacauhaa” is the name of the Mayan chocolate beverage that these people drank with the addition of spices: chili, pepper and ginger.

Its sour and pungent taste (it wasn’t sweet yet!) was occasionally softened by a mixture of honey and corn flour. The priests used to drink it and offer it to the gods in religious rites, from which the name “Theobroma”, which means “food of the gods.”

When chocolate was brought to Europe, the cuisine was full with sugar: this new product was well appreciated, but its strong taste was altered through the use of more delicate aromas such as vanilla, amber, musk and especially sugar, that definitively transformed the flavor of the drink.

Until the end of the Seventeenth Century chocolate was liquid, drunk only by aristocrats and clergymen. It wasn’t just a drink, but it also became a symbol of a noble lifestyle. From the Eighteenth Century onwards it was also produced solid and destined to become a success that lasts to this day.

The choice of wine to pair with chocolate is not easy: dessert wines, even the straw ones, struggle to keep up with him.
There is then a tendency toward special wines such as Ala (Old Liquorvino Amarascato) and Barolo Chinato: the important alcohol content, the sweetness of concentrated grape must and the presence of the infusion of herbs and fruit, of which these wines are gifted, allow us to follow the taste of chocolate until its weakening.

If the chocolate is one of the ingredients of the recipe, as in a Sacher cake, the choice will fall on a Pedro Ximenez Sherry or Port Late Bottled Vintage.

If chocolate is a discrete component of the overall recipe, there’s space for a whole range of straw and fortified wines, which are typical Italian: Recioto della Valpolicella, Refrontolo raisin, raisin Sagrantino di Montefalco, Tear Morro d’Alba raisin, Aleatico, Vin Santo del Chianti partridge eye, Marsala Rubino.

SOURCE: Maria Cristina, www.vinidellanima.it