Barry Callebaut presents tempting combinations of origin chocolates and classic wine

News Release
24 origin chocolates matched with classic wines
  • Origin chocolate allows new harmonies and remarkable taste contrasts between wine and chocolate
  • Barry Callebaut undertakes a flavorful journey of discovery under the management of the ‘éminence grise’ of Belgian wine critics

The rapid rise in interest in origin chocolates, each with its own unique and delicate flavor palette, creates new possibilities for combinations between wine and chocolate. This was demonstrated in a large-scale combination project by Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high quality cocoa and chocolate products. With over 40 varieties in its assortment, Barry Callebaut is the absolute world authority on origin chocolates. In order to take full advantage of the subtle and surprising flavors of these tempting chocolates, harmonious or contrasting combinations were sought with classic wines from every corner of the world.

Nowadays, we have come to enjoy chocolate the way we do fine wine. Like wine, Barry Callebaut’s origin chocolates are very much a reflection of the specific cocoa varieties and the unique soil and weather conditions in which they are grown. The broad spectrum of expressive flavors resulting in these fine chocolates is enhanced even further when accompanied by the world’s finest wines.
Hans Vriens, Chief Innovation Officer at Barry Callebaut

As a result of the delectable exercise, the origin chocolates were classified into three flavor groups: mild, strong and powerful. Specific wines were then linked to these flavor groups. The combination yielded pure splendor: heavenly harmonies and surprising contrasts.

Mild origin chocolates

These chocolates have a light cocoa flavor in combination with a pronounced, fruity, floral or spicy aroma.

Barry Callebaut origin chocolates

Milk: Mexico (40% cocoa), Oceania (37%), Papua New Guinea (35%), Arriba (40%), Colombia (33%), Java (31%)

Dark: Papua New Guinea (70%)



These origin chocolates truly come into their own in combination with dry or semi-sweet wines with pronounced acidity, subtle elegance and fruitiness. The wines must be rather young and reflect minimal woodiness or spiciness so that they can best emphasize the delicate flavors of these mild chocolates.

Wine tips

Riesling Spätlese dry (DE), Tokay Pinot Gris d’Alsace (FR), Tokaji Aszu 3 puttonyos (HU), Clairette de Die demi-sec (FR) or Moscato d’Asti (IT), liqueur types: AOC’s Loupiac, St Croix-du Mont or Cadillac (FR)

Strong origin chocolates

These chocolates have a pronounced cocoa flavor, but leave more than enough room for subtle aromas and finer flavors.

Barry Callebaut origin chocolates

White: Malaysia (27%)

Milk: Congo (40%)

Dark: Venezuela (72%), Arriba (50%), Amazonia (57%), Ghana (70%), Savanna (60%)



Specific wines with some intensity, a higher sweetness factor and more tannins than the previous category are required, in order to avoid being overwhelmed by these origin chocolates. We find these elements in the big, classic wines or in the fortified wines. This group is the most experimental one, with the most possible combinations.

Wine tips

Pinotage Stellenbosch (South Africa), Riesling Auslese (DE), Shiraz (Australia), Bonnezeaux Loire (FR), Tokaji Aszu 4 or 5 puttonyos (HU), Champagne demi-sec (FR), Cava (SP) and Carmenère (Chili), Malbec (Argentina).

Gran reservas’ or ‘special cuvées’ are also candidates.

Powerful origin chocolates

Due to a pronounced, solid cocoa flavor, these chocolates leave little room for other subtleties.

Barry Callebaut origin chocolates

Dark: Santo Domingo (70%), Caribbean (69%), Madagascar (66%), Sao Tomé (72%), Togo (61%), Tanzania (75%), Brazil (62%), Ecuador (70%), Ghana (60%), Mexico (66%).




Fortified wines, in particular, or wines with extra body and more mature fruitiness combine well with chocolates from these origins. Their pronounced, strong-bodied flavor lets these wines compete against the ‘bitterness’ of cocoa. The maturing process in oaken barrels plays a prominent role in these flavors.

Wine tips

Madeira Boal or Madeira Malmsey (PO), Jurançon Moelleux (FR), Sauternes Barcas (FR), Zinfandel California (USA), AOC Banyuls (FR), Maury (FR), Rivesaltes Ambré (FR), Rivesaltes Hors d’age (FR), Older Bordeaux Grand Cru Classé (FR), Pedro Ximinez Sherry of Cream Sherry (SP).


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About Barry Callebaut:
With annual sales of more than CHF 4 billion for fiscal year 2006/07, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. Barry Callebaut is present in 25 countries, operates about 40 production facilities and employs approximately 7,500 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers. It also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.

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