Chocolate is the first choice for pairing with Moscatel de Setúbal. Certainly! But what kind of chocolate? Even the most knowledgeable will understand that there is chocolate and then there is chocolate…
The answer is: every kind! If it is true that there are several types of chocolate, whose percentage of cacao dictates each profile, there is also a rich variety of profiles in Moscatel de Setúbal, so that the range of possible pairings is large. In very general terms:
As it is “fattier”, pairing with a younger Moscatel de Setúbal is recommended, for its exuberant orange and orange blossom aromas. And here we speak of pairing by contrast, insofar as the acidity balances out with the sweetness.
Chocolates with 50 % and 60 % cacao are an easy combination, so the art here is to make the pairing match the expected result, to taste. A basic rule of pairing is that when you have a lot of sugar in wine or food, they become more difficult to pair because the excess in one of them overpowers the other. However, Moscatel de Setúbal is by nature a sweet wine, so if you are “drawn” to the wine’s sweetness, you should look for an aged Moscatel de Setúbal, with over 5 years of age as well as a Moscatel Roxos de Setúbal. If on the other hand, the goal is to emphasise the chocolate, a younger Moscatel de Setúbal should be chosen.
For chocolate with or more than 70 % cacao, which has less sugar, the best pairing is with a more complex Moscatel de Setúbal and Moscatel Roxo de Setúbal, such as those with superior designation and in special batches (10 years, 15 years, 20 years, etc…)
Here, any of these muscatels soften the bitterness of the dark chocolate with their sweetness. The fig, nut, tobacco and honey aromas so present in these types of muscatels are also essential elements for this perfect pairing.
Chocolates with extras
Filled with citrus fruits, for example, they can be paired with Moscatel de Setúbal sparkling wine. The same suggestion applies to white chocolates, since they are fattier and the fizziness and acidity of the sparkling wine help “cleanse the palate”.
Once we enter the range of “chocolates with”, chocolates with liqueur and dried fruits are also good companions for Moscatel de Setúbal, as well as those with citrus flavours, given the similarity of scents. Let us return to the practice of pairing by similarity.