In the Not My Friend series, I write about the pairings that didn’t work for me. Pairings that I expected to work, but simply didn’t live up to my expectations. They may work for you, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do, they just don’t do for me. Today: pinot noir and chocolate covered strawberries.
I’ll be honest: I picked pinot noir as my first red wine for a reason. Not only do I love the grape, but perhaps more importantly, pinot noir and milk chocolate are – according to the internet – a textbook pairing. Strawberries are also mentioned as a great pairing with pinot noir because of the strawberry flavours a pinot noir can express. And even on Valentine’s Day, everyone seems to be going nuts about gifting red wine, chocolate and strawberries, so surely it must taste great. Right? Right…?
So I paired my chocolate covered strawberries with a pinot noir from Burgundy. The same pinot noir that paired so well with the bacon stuffed mushrooms – so the wine was alright. More than alright, actually. But when I paired it with chocolate covered strawberries, it tasted bad. Real bad.
I was surprised and confused. So I did the only sensible thing to do: I turned to Instagram Polls. I asked my fellow winelovers if pinot noir and chocolate covered strawberries made a good pair. The results were clear: all 37 winelovers said yes. Not a single person said no. I was even more confused.
I blamed it on the wine. Perhaps the wine was too earthy (Burgundy, France) and I needed a wine from a warmer climate. I decided to get a pinot noir from Marlborough, New Zealand instead. I expected this to have more red fruit flavours, and therefore, it might be a better match.
My verdict? It was slightly better. The strawberries didn’t enhance the wine or vice versa, but at least they didn’t make it taste a lot worse like they did with the Burgundy pinot noir. Instead of choosing a pinot noir that may or may not work, next time I’ll go for a sparkling wine instead.
Have you tried this pinot noir and chocolate covered strawberries yourself? Let me know in the comments below what you think of this pairing!