Chocolate and red wine are an age-old combination—the acidity of the latter cuts the richness and sweetness of the former. Ashley Santoro and Caitlin McConnell are sommeliers and owners of Leisir, a wine shop in New York City's Chinatown specializing in organic, biodynamic, and sustainable wines. They shared four natural red wines that pair particularly well with chocolate.
"Roland Velich, the winemaker at Moric Winery is the king of Blaufränkisch. His wines have changed the perception of Austrian reds and have developed a cult following. The Blaufränkisch is medium-bodied with plum and dark fruit notes—a perfect match with chocolate fondue."
"The Calcarius has a savory element that would work well with dark chocolate or mint brownies."
"There seems to be an explosion of natural producers in Portugal. The Maresia is lighter in style with beautiful acidity and red fruit notes. This goes well with desserts that are on the lighter side of sweet. Try it chilled."
"COS is one of the most relevant producers in Sicily and beyond. Their understanding of the island's terroir has propelled the region forward and inspired up-and-coming winemakers. The Pithos Rosso is aged in amphora, giving it a little more texture and structure."
Photography and prop styling by Julia Gartland. Food styling by Samantha Seneviratne.