What wine pairs best with Valentines staples: Cheese, Chocolate, and Pasta
January 31, 2024

Love is in the air, and what better way to celebrate Cupid’s favorite day than with a symphony of flavors that make your heart sing? At the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival, we believe that pairing delicious wines with delectable dishes is the key to a truly unforgettable Valentine’s Day.

So, whether you’re planning a romantic dinner for two, a cozy gathering with friends, or simply treating yourself, we’ve got the perfect wine and food pairings to set the mood. From the classics like chocolate, cheese, and pasta dishes to unexpected delights, let’s embark on a tantalizing journey through some of our favorite Valentine’s Day staples. Get ready to fall in love all over again, this time with the magic of food and wine.

Wine & Chocolate Pairings

Wine & Chocolate, both celebrated as aphrodisiacs, rich in flavanols, and antioxidants as well as imparting a sense of decadence.  From the silky nuances of milk chocolate to the bittersweet depths of dark cocoa and the creamy charms of white chocolate, we’ll guide you through the perfect wine companions for each.

Recommended Wine Pairings with Milk Chocolate:

  • Port style wines including Pinot Noir and Petite Sirah.
  • Lambrusco: a sparkling red wine, with delicate flavors fruit

Recommended Wine Pairings with Dark Chocolate:

  • Red Wines: Zinfandel , Malbec or Petite Sirah 

Recommended Wine Pairings with White Chocolate:

  • Pinot Noir: Contrast the sweetness of White Chocolate with a dry medium-body red like Pinot
  • Ice Wine: Lean into the decadence and pair sweet with sweet!
three glass of red wine, rose wine and white wine with french cheese and delicatessen in restaurant wooden table with romantic dim light and cosy atmosphere

Wine & Cheese Pairings

Have an artful charcuterie board planned for your Valentine? Elevate your palate with these wine & cheese pairing tips! 🍷🧀

Tip #1  Match the intensity of wine and cheese for a flavor symphony

Tip #2 Bold reds + aged cheeses = perfection

Tip #3 Balance a funky cheese with a sweet wine.

Tip #4 Soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, or Mozerella make magic when matched with sparkling wines

Tip #5 Travel tastefully—pair wines & cheeses from the same place. I.e. Italian wines and Italian cheese, French wine with French cheese, etc.

Steak & Wine Pairings

One cannot deny the popularity of steak on Valentine’s Day. Whether you and your love will be enjoying a Porterhouse, Ribeye, NY strip, or filet mignon, a bold red wine will be the answer for your palette pairing. Try a Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Petit Sirah.

Pasta & Wine Pairings

Tip #1 Ignore the pasta, pair your wine with the sauce

Tip #2 Tomato sauces have a high acidity and pair well with a Zinfandel, Chianti, or Grenache

Tip #3  Creamy and cheesy sauces pair well with a creamy wine like an oaked Chardonnay.

Tip #4 Fresh veggies focused Primavera sauces pair great with  Sauvignon Blanc

Want even more options for wine and food pairings? Check out our picks below:

-Chocolate-covered cherries: Cabernet Sauvignon

-Salt & Butter Popcorn: Chardonnay

-Strawberries: Champagne

-Pretzels: Pinot Noir

-Cheesecake: Riesling 

Learn more about Wine & Food Pairings at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Festival!

With hundreds of vendors offering samples of wine, spirits, ciders, gourmet foods, cheeses, and sauces you’re sure to find your new favorite food and wine combo at the Hudson Valley Wine Fest at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds on September 7th and 8th.

We hope you feel inspired to elevate your romantic evening with the perfect union of flavors. Whether you’re indulging in the classic romance of wine and chocolate, savoring the sophistication of wine and cheese, or delighting in the robust companionship of wine and steak or pasta sauces, remember that the key is to trust your palate and enjoy the experience.

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