The day of love is upon us! We thought this week would be a good time to share some amazing chocolate and wine pairing suggestions from our department managers. All Woodlands Market locations should have these items in stock, so stop by one of our stores to make your Valentine’s Day extra sweet.

If you’re going with the classic box of chocolates for your special person, our Grocery Buyer Catherine Vella Perez highly recommends boxes from Truffili di Pellegrini. These artisan gourmet chocolates and truffles are made in Switzerland and use cocoa from a Brazilian agricultural cooperative called Cabruca. Cabruca is comprised of 42 organic, family-run farms committed to the preservation of the rainforest and the sustainable cultivation of organic, luxury cocoa. Aside from being sustainable and supporting independent family cocoa farmers, Truffili chocolates and truffles are rich and delicious.

For pairing with the sweet milk chocolate and truffles of Truffili, our San Francisco store’s Wine Manager Ed Guelld suggests a wine that is a bit sweet, such as a Spätlese Riesling (pronounced SHPATE-lay-zuh) from Germany. These wines have some residual sugar but are not really sweet wines-they still have a level of acidity and zest that balances the sweetness and keeps the wine refreshing and invigorating, allowing them to match and balance nicely with the high sugar in milk chocolate and truffles.

If dark chocolate is your thing, Catherine recommends a great local brand we carry called L’Amourette Chocolat. Handmade in San Francisco, L’Amourette bars contain single-origin, organic cocoa beans and range from 70 to 100 percent dark chocolate, with an English Toffee option. The chocolate is extra smooth, silky, and fragrant due to the abundance of cocoa butter extracted from Trinitario cocoa beans.

For less-sweet dark chocolate such as L’Amourette, Ed recommends pairing with a sweet wine for balance. This may include an aged, rich, oaky Tawny Port, or a younger, more fruit-forward Ruby Port. You also can never go wrong with the bubbly sweetness of a Prosecco when dark chocolate is involved.

Vin Santo Italian dessert wines also go very well with dark chocolate. Vin Santo is rich, golden in color, and viscous, with a scent of apricots and a smooth taste of caramel and nuts. The best Vin Santo is made in Tuscany from white grapes using a very old and traditional method of sun drying.

One wine that goes great with all types of chocolate is Muscat Beaumes de Venise. This light and sweet French wine is made from the best Muscat grapes in the Rhône, and its tropical fruit notes make it a refreshing summer dessert wine. In contrast with a heavy port, Muscat Beaumes de Venise is lighter on the palate and pairs well with fruits and berries on top of chocolate.

Of course, our knowledgeable staff is more than happy to help you with any other types of pairings you’re looking for. Need a bottle of red to go with your dinner, or a soft cheese that pairs well with Cabernet? Just ask us!