Choc ab­sorbers

Hamish An­der­son

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - The Cut | Food -

Nail­ing a per­fect wine (or any other drink) to match with food is not easy. Sup­port­ing in­gre­di­ents are of­ten the most im­por­tant – a herb, spice or sea­son­ing can com­pletely change how a dish in­ter­acts with wine (great restau­rants will get the mar­riage spot on). Thank­fully, how­ever, most meals can tol­er­ate a wide range of wines, and at home our ap­proach can be more re­laxed; as long as there aren’t any bad clashes, I’m happy.

Just a few in­gre­di­ents should set off a warn­ing klaxon, as they are in dan­ger of ac­tively de­stroy­ing a poorly cho­sen wine. Ar­ti­chokes, for one, and – per­haps sur­pris­ingly – cho­co­late. I’ve lost count of the num­ber of trea­sured bot­tles of dessert wine I have been served, only to have them ru­ined by a dense cho­co­late pud­ding. It sim­ply over­whelms most things, mak­ing dry wine taste acidic, ac­cen­tu­at­ing tan­nins in reds, and of­ten over­pow­er­ing a tra­di­tional sweet wine such as Sauternes. Rich, pow­er­ful and of­ten for­ti­fied wines are the an­swer – al­though beer and spir­its can also do the job. Here are three al­ter­na­tives to sip with an after-din­ner co­coa-based treat.

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