For those of us looking for that special wine to pair with some delicious Valentine’s Day sweets, we have a few options to explain in this four part series leading up the 14th. Most of these wines can be found under the dessert or fortified wine section in your local wine shop. Keep in mind that there are many more options for pairing wine with chocolate and other desserts than we will be showing.
First up, is the northern Italian sweet wine, Brachetto D’Acqui. The grape Brachetto, often grown in the Piedmont region, gives off distinct aromas of fresh strawberries. It is light and fizzy, low alcohol, and commonly called the red counter part to another nothern Italian sweet wine, Moscato D’Asti. Brachetto D’Acqui must be made from 100% Brachetto grapes, and have a minimum of 5% alcohol for frizzante, 6% if made in a spumante style. The harvested grapes must also have the sugar content (ripeness) for at least a potential ABV of 11.5%.
Traditionally this wine is served chilled with berries, strawberry shortcake (surpriset) or Gianduia. Gianduia is a sweet chocolate with hazelnut paste (think nutella) invented in Turin during Napoleon’s regency. Consider the flavors of Brachetto D’Acqui, floral, strawberry, cherry, and raspberry as a perfect compliment to any chocolate mousse served with fresh fruit!