A chocolate and wine pairing party is a great way to experience something new with friends and family, all while enjoying delicious food and drink! This post is sponsored by Lindt. Thanks for supporting companies I believe in and allowing me to create more unique content for you.
When it comes to dinner parties, I love experimenting with my friends and family. They always get to be my taste-testers for blog recipes. No two dinner parties are the same and no dinner party is complete with out a well-balanced meal followed by an excellent dessert.
You see, my friends and family have gotten used to waiting for my obligatory photo session (of the food) to end before diving right in. However, when I invited everyone over for the Lindt EXCELLENCE chocolate and J. Lohr wine pairing party, I knew I could set up and take the photos before the party, so our flow would not be interrupted.
Well, as luck would have it, the party happened to fall in the middle of August in Charleston, South Carolina. One of the hottest and wettest months all year long. When it rains almost every day with temperatures well into the 90’s, having a party outdoors is nearly impossible.
I invited everyone to the party in hopes that the weather would hold out. Alas, after spending the entire morning prepping for dinner and dessert, the bottom fell out. Dinner was in the oven and the chocolate & wine table was prepped and ready to be set up outside.
So much for that plan.
Fortunately, there was exactly a 15 minute break between thunderstorms and the beginning of the dinner party. While my parents watched Liam, my husband and I scrambled to shake off the oak tree branches, hang the decorations and move the chocolate and wine tablescape outside. We had to give the wine glasses and wine a few minutes to adjust to the insane amount of humidity outside. They were fogging up a whole lot.
Just as things were looking up for a quick photoshoot of the prepped table, my camera lenses began having a lot of trouble getting used to the humidity. After some scrambling and finally finding one lens out of all the lenses I brought with me that didn’t seem to be affected by the humidity, I snapped a few photos. And on that note, the rain came again.
We rushed to bring everything back into the dry house. There was no way we could have the party outside. It was at that point that I wished I lived in a more temperate climate for the summer. Ahh, the lovely crisp cool air. Anyone want to trade for the insane heat and humidity? 😉
Thankfully, my sisters, dad and I had just recently given my parent’s kitchen a makeover while my mom was on a mission trip, creating a lovely indoor backdrop for our party. With the chocolate & wine table relocated and set up, there was just enough time to get the dinner out of the oven and my humidified hair straightened again.
We were ready to party!
I had never hosted a pairing party before, but in this case it was delightful to experience such a fun thing together. Since I’m pregnant, I was the in-house photographer and narrator of the party. I would read the pairing details aloud while our friends and family tasted along. As I read, you could see their expressions agreeing exactly with the narration when they were tasting. Then, there would be moments of ‘Oh, wow!’, ‘It’s so right!’, ‘That’s amazing!’.
Lindt’s Master Swiss Chocolatier’s unmatched expertise to perfectly combine the most refined intense dark chocolate and the finest ingredients into thin shapes, made for perfect melting in your mouth during the pairing party.
Together, Lindt and J. Lohr have created amazing pairings that will allow you to elevate yourself to the ultimate chocolate pleasure experience. Lindt has truly mastered the art of refinement and creates an enchanting world of chocolate. They even sent me a few new and exciting flavors, like coconut, caramel with sea salt, lemon and even pineapple!
Here’s how to do proper tasting of the pairings:
- First, taste both the chocolate and wine individually.
- Next, take another piece of chocolate and let it slowly melt in your mouth.
- When the last bit of chocolate are all that remain in your mouth, take a sip of wine. Hold the wine in your mouth, coating your palate.
- Finally, notice the complex changes in taste as the wine compliments the chocolate flavor. The pairing will intensify and elevate the taste experience.
Let’s get started with the pairings!
Lindt EXCELLENCE Chocolate and Wine Pairing
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Pineapple paired with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay
- EXCELLENCE Pineapple bar – sweet pineapple, roasted hazelnuts,
- Chardonnay – aromas of apples, pears and lemons, well-balanced
- Combined – delightful finish of caramel and cream
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Intense Orange paired with J. Lohr Estates Bay Mist White Riesling
- EXCELLENCE Intense Orange bar – sweet citrus profile and complex dark chocolate flavor
- Riesling – notes of lychee, pear and orange, bright wine
- Combined – full fruit flavors and balanced seam of refreshing acidity
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Sea Salt paired with J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir
- EXCELLENCE Sea Salt – sharp Fleur de Sel, sweet cacao
- Pinot Noir – fresh ripe berries, touch of earth and brown sugar
- Combined – flavors of fresh cream, butter and a pleasant tanginess
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Merlot
- EXCELLENCE Chili – sweet dark chocolate perfumed with red chili
- Merlot – deep, rich fruit aromas, pomegranate, blueberry, prunes with a spicy finish
- Combined – spicy warmth that bursts onto the palate
- Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with J. Lohr Estates Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
- EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa – rich with notes of tobacco, leather and roasted nuts
- Cabernet Sauvignon – aromas of blueberry and black plum, bouquet of chocolate and hazelnut
- Combined – perfect match in both depth and body and finish with a creaminess that coats the palate
Thoughts on the Pairings
- Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili Chocolate paired with the J. Lohr Merlot was by far the favorite of the group. “I could appreciate the sumptuous surge of spicy flavor exploding (ok, exploding is a bit exaggerated) in my mouth. This pairing accentuated the special notes of the cocoa-based edible with the red-tinted, fermented semi-bold drink.” – my husband
- The runner up was the Lindt EXCELLENCE Pineapple Chocolate paired with the J. Lohr Chardonnay.
- While still delicious, the Lindt EXCELLENCE Sea Salt Chocolate paired with the J. Lohr Pinot Noir was the least favorite pairing. “It was not an unpleasant paring at all. I’ve just become immune to sea salt chocolate as a surprising gastronomic feast. Maybe unconsciously I was expecting the sea salt chocolate to have the ever-common-yet-delightful aggregate of caramel.” – my dad
- There was an overwhelming consensus to participate or host another chocolate and wine pairing party. “Whether I’m lounging in a tannin leather chair in the walnut library with a 70% cocoa chocolate and a satin glass of Cabernet, or out in the morning sun on the beach house front porch with the pineapple chocolate and a cool Chardonnay, there is always a place for a perfect pairing of wine and chocolate.” – my dad
- On another note: “The outstanding pairing for me was the intense orange chocolate with Riesling. Alone, the orange chocolate and the Riesling are wonderful and satisfying. Together, the experience was multiplied to exhilaration. The evaporation of the Riesling on a chocolate coated pallet made the orange astringent come alive to complement the buttery chocolate sensation. The followthrough was also long, satisfying and memorable. I appreciated the Riesling at a not-so-cool temperature. An overly chilled Riesling would have prevented the dynamic response that I so enjoyed from the melting chocolate notes with alcohol’s phase transition. Having the temperature on the upper end of the white spectrum did not dampen the fruity, semi-dry crispness of the Riesling either.” – my dad
- There was also a push from the group for Lindt and J. Lohr to create a party kit to purchase everything needed for the pairing.
Yum, that Orange Citrus chocolate sounds delicious! Awesome post by the way! 🙂
I love dark chocolate. I have always wanted to try the chili chocolate! I do love the sea salt already, they all sound so good!
My favorite is dark chocolate all the way!
I do not discriminate against any chocolate:) My favorite has to be dark and I would love to try the Lindt’s Dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt!
I love dark chocolate
Lately I have started eating only 70% or higher because of the lower sugar content. It gives you a whole new perspective on chocolate – it does become a bit like wine, where you can focus on the notes and aromas.
I love dark chocolate with sea salt!
The wine would have been lost on me, not a big wine drinker. But oooooo Chocolate!!!!! I love Dark Chocolate. The Lindt chocolate with the pepper is really good too.
What a beautiful table! Dark chocolate is my fave, although I haven’t met a piece of chocolate that I didn’t like 🙂
Love this post and a great idea! I love dark chocolate!!! When I lived in Germany I went to the Lindt Museum and the dark chocolate mousse infused with cranberry!! yum!
They have the best white chocolate
White chocolate is BY FAR my favorite thing in the chocolate world!
I like white chocolate!
I absolutely love Dark Chocolate. Lindt Chile is my favorite.
I love dark chocolate (especially with sea salt). Thanks for the chance to win.
I like milk chocolate, but I’m adventurous and like to try them all 🙂 I’ve been dying to get my hands on a sample set from Maison Bouche they look lovely!
Love wine pairings, thanks for the suggestions!!
Milk and infused flavors
What a fun idea!!
Well, any chocolate sounds wonderful, but the orange citrus or the sea salt would probably be my favorite.
I adore truffles. Specifically, hazelnut or pear filings. But truffles of almost any sort really do it for me.
My favorite chocolate is usually the darks with sea salt. If I’m honest, though, I love all things chocolate.
I love some white chocolate coconut in the summers. As the temperature cools I go toward Dark. It’s more warming.
I just moved from SC to New England this past January. I love SC, but man do I love these summers up here!
i love love the dark choc & sea salt. i tend to go for the dark choc when it has something in it.
I love dark chocolate.
I love dark chocolate, especially when there’s something in it — sea salt or nuts. Yum!
I LOVE all chocolate! Even baking chocolate (not for eating)!!!
dark chocolate is my fav but some of those flavor infused ones sound great!!! Sign me up for coconut or pineapple- YUM
I like dark chocolate (60-75% cacao) with sea salt and almonds!
Lindt is definitely one of my go to chocolates!
Any kind of dark chocolate. 80% is my all time favorite….but 70% is perfect too!
What a neat idea for a party! Would be a great bridal shower idea too. I love milk chocolate and white chocolate, but dark is too bitter for me.
I love dark chocolate with almonds.
I love all chocolate but dark chocolate infused with raspberry or liquor even.
I LOVE dark chocolate. Its so healthy for you too!
I love dark chocolate
A good plain dark chocolate or dark chocolate with mint or almonds are def. favs!
I love dark chocolate, and if it has nuts in it, all the better.
Love the idea of chocolate and wine. Already love the Liner Intense Orange, but with wine yum. And I love J. Lohr Cabernet. Must try it with the chili chocolate. Hope I win.
Dark chocolate. No nuts!
They need to do a wine and CHEESE pairing next!
I love drak chocolate!
Darkest chocolate I can find!!! I also like chocolate infused with coconut.
My favorite is always the dark chocolate.
I love dark chocolate infused with carmel! The best combo in my opinion!
I found the Lindt coconut chocolate at Harris Teeter! It’s fantastic 🙂
I like white chocolate best, but my husband likes dark chocolate best.
Milk chocolate is hands down my favorite chocolate!
I love milk chocolate!!
I like Milk Chocolate – preferably with nuts or toffee – something with a crunch.
Um, yum! Can you believe this week I actually started having a taste for chocolate again? It only took 24 weeks of pregnancy. 😉
My favorite Lindt is the Touch of Sea Salt followed up by the 70% and their 90% dark. I’ve yet to try their flavor infused chocolates.
Oh yay! I’m 15 weeks and still don’t crave chocolate. I’m longing to want to want it again! 😀 I’m so glad you enjoy it again!
I love milk chocolate!
Dark Chocolate by far! Oh so indulgent!
I would love to host a wine and chocolate party! Sounds like a great girls night event!
love the dark chocolate! I really want to try to sea salt version. I’m not a huge fan of flavor infused chocolates. The chocolate tastes great on its own!
My favorite is dark chocolate, maybe with some salt!
I love Dark chocolate! I also really love Lindt Lindor Truffles (especially Caramel and Peanut Butter–neither are made with dark chocolate, but they’re really delicious!)
I love dark chocolate 🙂
I love milk chocolate
dark chocolate is my favorite! i love lindt’s chili bar! so goood 🙂
This is such a great idea! Two of my favorite things! I can’t wait to try this!
Dark chocolate chili is my favorite chocolate 🙂
What a fun ideal to pair the chocolate with wine….now that’s a wine tasting! I love Dark Chocolate, the darker the better….lindt is so yummy….plus the kids don’t like it because it’s not super sweet…..which is fine with me 🙂
I love dark chocolate!
I would love some of the 70% dark chocolate and that Cabernet! J.Lohr Cab is delicious on it’s own, paired with the dark chocolate…..heaven! Only a few months to go til we get to try these pairings out. Maybe we should recreate the wine pairing party! 🙂
i straight up love dark chocolate!
I love dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt.
My favorite kind of chocolate is dark and infused with the tart flavor of blackberries and Cabernet Sauvignon
I love dark chocolate with sea salt.
I like dark chocolate infused with fun flavors
I love Lindt chocolate!
What a cute idea for a party….Wine and chocolate may not seem an obvious pairing, but if match out correctly it can be tasty!
It’s hard to decide with all these great flavors, but gotta go with dark chocolate 😀
Milk chocolate is my favorite.
I’m a dark chocolate girl! And dark chocolate with orange is awesome, too!
I love milk chocolate with hazelnuts!
I love dark chocolate, especially when paired with sea salt or hot peppers! My husband loves milk chocolate. We make a good team. 🙂 Thanks for the instructions on how to do a proper wine/food tasting!
Definitely dark chocolate but is there a bad chocolate? I love ALL chocolate!
Wow I want to try this!
Dark chocolate anything! With sea salt or almonds are my favs! 🙂
This looks like the perfect idea for a girls night! I can’t wait to host one!
Dark chocolate with orange! That citrus is just a burst of flavor. My mouth is watering right now thinking about chocolate and wine. Can’t wait to have a girls night, thanks for this post!
My favorite is milk chocolate and I love to try different infused varieties.
Give me chocolate add some wine and I’m sold. Can you tell I was raised in South Carolina?
I LOVE milk chocolate!
My favorite is milk chocolate. I do not really like the % Cocoa varieties.
I love dark chocolate with crystalized ginger! Its delicious I swear!
i love white chocolate the best
Dark. I especially love Lindt dark chocolate Mint truffles, but they’re hard to find.