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Have a Happy Valentine's Day tasting chocolates paired with fine wines

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Snowed in today? Well, Happy Valentine’s Day and snuggle in. Here are a few last minute tips to make your Valentine’s Day special for your sweetheart without breaking the bank or having to break out the snow blower. Simply put, all it takes is a delicious dose of chocolate and an elegant bottle of wine, heart healthy too with a red wine.

Advice wisely taken from Hugh Preece, General Manager at Salt Creek Grille in Princeton, who says wine and chocolate pairing can be challenging. A simple trick is to keep the wine sweeter than the chocolate. A light elegant chocolate will be best paired with a lighter bodied wine. And the stronger the chocolate, the more full bodied the wine should be.

White Chocolate: Pair this with a Moscato d 'Asti, such as the Ceretto Moscoto d 'Asti DOCG 2012 or go for a bolder pairing with a Zinfandel, like the Seghesio Zinfandel 2011.

Milk Chocolate: Pair this with a Pinot Noir or a light bodied Merlot, such as the Flying Fish Merlot 2010. Rieslings, Moscatos and dessert wines will hold up well too.

For milk chocolate-dipped strawberries a sparkling wine such as the Alma Negra Sparkling Misterio Rosé N/V or a Champagne would be best. A classic pairing for Preece would be a Ruby Port, specifically the Passaduoro Ruby Reserva Port N/V.

Dark or Bittersweet Chocolate: Cabernets and Zinfandels are the classic pairing for this chocolate; however, considering a Pinot Noir, such as the Meiomi Pinot Noir 2012, or a Merlot may make for a more appealing match. Preece’s perfect pairing would be a Tawny or Classic Port.

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