Chocolate Cheesecake pairs best with fruity or fortified wines like Recioto della Valpolicella, Tawny Port, Oloroso Sherry, Bual Maderia, and if the conditions are right, Merlot. My preference leans towards fruity red-based wines as I enjoy the combination of cherry or berries and chocolate.
Recioto della Valpolicella & Chocolate Cheesecake Pairing
Recioto della Valpolicella is a full-bodied Italian red wine that is both sweet and rich in flavour due to its residual sugar. Raisin, black cherry, plum and notes of cocoa, vanilla, and tobacco complement the chocolaty flavours of chocolate cheesecake. You’ll also find the velvety texture of this wine is divine with the round flavours of this luxurious dessert.
Tawny Port & Chocolate Cheesecake Pairing
Port is a fortified wine, meaning brandy has been introduced during the fermentation process to give Tawny Port its sweet to semi-sweet character, along with its nutty and toffee flavours. The wine is then aged for at least seven years, allowing deeper flavours of caramel, vanilla, nuts, cherry, blackberry and mocha to emerge. Due to its rich flavours and sweet profile, Tawny Port is a knockout with Chocolate Cheesecake where all the flavours and aromas of the wine mesh perfectly with the cake.
Oloroso Sherry & Chocolate Cheesecake Pairing
Oloroso Sherry is a dry to medium-dry Sherry that offers plenty of nutty flavours and dark fruit notes that make it exceptional with Chocolate Cheesecake. Aromatic and spicy, you only need a sip of Sherry with each bite of Chocolate Cheesecake to appreciate the hypnotic power of Sherry. Once the dessert is finished, enjoying the remainder of the Sherry is good for the mind as you silently meditate on your life’s journey so far.
Bual Madeira & Chocolate Cheesecake Pairing
Madeira is the third fortified wine to make our list, and this wine is exclusively made on the island of Madeira, a region of Portugal. For single-varietal Madeira, you’ll find four styles that range from dry to sweet, which are Sercial, Verdelho, Bual or Boal, and Malmsey. Bual Maderia is where Maderia starts getting sweet, and Malmsey Madeira is the sweetest version of Madeira.
Bual Madeira will make the best pair, as while Chocolate Cheesecake is sweet, it’s not as sweet as ice cream or a dark chocolate cake slathered in icing, which Malmsey Madeira is more suited towards. With Bual Maderia, expect flavours of caramel, cacao, dates, roasted coffee and raisin.
Merlot & Chocolate Cheesecake Pairing
I’m only giving this 3 out of 5 stars as not any old Merlot will work in this situation. However, if you have the right Merlot, this will be a 4 out of 5 or higher rating. If you are unfamiliar with Merlot styles, ask for a plush Merlot with flavours of chocolate and cherries. You’ll also want a Merlot that isn’t heavy in tannin or acidity. A medium amount of tannin is fine, and the proteins in the cheese will smooth the tannin out, making your Merlot taste even more silky smooth.
If you have the right style of Merlot, this pairing is spot-on as the rich dark cherry notes of the wine blend in so well with the chocolate flavours of the cheesecake. Meanwhile, Merlot’s chocolatey flavours are much more noticeable when paired up with the mild chocolate cheesecake making for a lovely pairing.