With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the topic on everyone’s minds is red wine and chocolate. Although many wine professionals will tell you that red wine and chocolate simply don’t go together, there are some pairings that can be quite exquisite. The main thing to keep in mind when trying to find the perfect pairing is to be aware of sugar. Red wine is tannic, which means it dries your mouth out. Pair this with sweet, sugary chocolate and your mouth will perceive it as less than delicious. Food and wine pairings are tricky because sometimes opposites (such as spicy and sweet) work very well together, but it isn’t an exact science and sometimes a pairing simply doesn’t work well. The best way to pair wine and chocolate is to have similar sweetness levels. For example, if you’re wanting that traditional box of chocolates with the red shiny cellophane, a great pairing is ruby port. The sweeter, fruity flavors with higher alcohol and a smooth texture will work nicely with sweeter chocolates, complimenting their similarities. The darker the chocolate, the dryer the wine should be. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a Brachetto d’Acqui. Native to the Piedmonte region of Italy, they are meant to be drank young and can be frizzante (frizzy) or spumante (sparkling) with notes of berries, roses, orange blossom and a semi sweetness. This wine paired with a light chocolate mousse will be heavenly on your palette. The most important thing to remember is get creative and have fun with it.