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Dark vs. milk, red vs. white

It’s already an understatement to call foodies an opinionated, passionate bunch, but there are few things that awaken one’s inner (or more likely, active) snob than by introducing wine or chocolate into a conversation. Many people seem to ally themselves quite firmly with one side of the dark/milk chocolate and red/white wine divide, and it’s almost always the pairings of dark/red and milk/white. I’ve known adventurous, sophisticated eaters who enjoy all types of ethnic cuisine with great enthusiasm, but offer them the “wrong” kind of wine or chocolate and you might as well have given them a stale dog biscuit dipped in tar. Sadly, it’s usually the dark chocolate/red wine lovers who treat milk chocolate/white wine fans like ice-cubes-in-chardonnay swilling, Hershey’s-chomping philistines.

I can say with all honesty that I enjoy dark and milk chocolate and red and white wine equally. It just depends on a few factors — my mood, the weather, what else I’m eating that day. If I’m hungry, I’m more inclined to eat a few squares of milk chocolate. There’s something about the sweet creaminess that picks me up. When it comes to dark chocolate, I’ll usually nibble a bit after dinner. Any time’s a good time for chocolate, though.

Like many people, I drink mostly white wine in the summer, though I also enjoy rosés and lighter reds, like a lighter-bodied pinot noir or a dolcetto. Some wines I only associate with wintertime — there’s nothing like a rich, sweet-smelling amarone to send you into blissful hibernation during a heavy snowfall.

True wine lovers tend to be less dogmatic when it comes to red vs. white; how can you simply dismiss half the wine world? Chocophiles almost always favor dark chocolate, however, so I’d like to make the case for milk chocolate. There is high quality milk chocolate out therejust because we sorry Americans grew up brainwashed by Hershey’s into thinking milk chocolate tastes like metallic chalk doesn’t mean it’s all like that. Gourmet has a list of good milk chocolate bars. I’d definitely recommend numbers one and two, the Bernard Castelain and the Lindt Excellence. I’m particularly partial to the Lindt because of its caramelly notes.

Milk chocolate is just as sublime in many desserts as dark chocolate and imparts a lighter, creamier flavor without sacrificing richness. Gourmet also has excellent recipes for milk chocolate brownies and milk chocolate pudding guaranteed to wow even the most fervent dark chocolate admirers.

Speaking of sublime, gianduja, that heavenly Italian confection of chocolate and hazelnuts, is made of milk chocolate. And who’s going to argue with a centuries-old recipe?

It all comes down to a matter of personal taste, of course, but any good gourmand ought to keep an open mind and an even more open mouth.

wasabigelatine wants to know: Do you prefer dark or milk chocolate? Do you drink only red or white wine? Or a combination? And most importantly, why?


  1. Jessica wrote:

    While I have yet to find a taste for most white wines, I enjoy both dark and milk chocolate…but oh do I feel the wrath if I bring milk chocolate into the office. My co-workers look down their noses at me and scoff, “So, you are eating CHEAP chocolate today?” Why yes, yes I am.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007 at 1:54 pm | Permalink
  2. Cat wrote:

    Sadly, it’s usually the dark chocolate/red wine lovers who treat milk chocolate/white wine fans like ice-cubes-in-chardonnay swilling, Hershey’s-chomping philistines.

    Only because they ARE ;)

    Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 5:07 pm | Permalink
  3. Them’s fightin’ words. Didn’t you read my post??? :P

    I had a really nice chenin blanc from South Africa the other day…

    Thursday, September 20, 2007 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  4. Cat wrote:

    I read the post. I’d just prefer to be a Pharisee than a Philistine ;)

    Monday, September 24, 2007 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

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