Wine has been bringing people together for thousands of years. Every country has found their own way of producing wine to create unique flavors from all around the world. Wine has been used in times of celebration, mourning, and to bring great leaders together. It’s even rumored that in the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great’s father Philip II invented the conga after one too many glasses of wine. There’s not much wine can’t do.

Wine is also a great way to make an impression. Looking for a date idea for the woman in your life this weekend? Why not try a wine and food pairing night? Having a date night in is the perfect way to beat those cold, dark winter days that are looming upon us. It’s a great way to save money as well.

For this date, you’ll be using a red Bordeaux wine and dark chocolate. You’ll be hard pressed to find a woman who will turn down fine wine and chocolate. If she does need more convincing, the following are a few facts to help with that.

Health benefits

Both red wine and dark chocolate have health benefits. Red wine is made up of tannins, which have a chemical that help against heart disease and strokes. It also has resveratrol, which removes chemicals that can lead to blood clots.

As for dark chocolate, the higher the cocoa content, the more nutrient-filled it is. It’s loaded with antioxidants, can lower blood pressure, and can lower your risk of heart disease. Chocolate is also said to have an aphrodisiac effect – not a bad thing when you’re on a date! When consumed in moderation, both of these can be a healthy part of your daily diet.

This is setting up to be the perfect date. She’ll be impressed you put so much thought into a date, and thought of her health at the same time. Now let’s get started.

What to buy

To prepare for this, purchase a bottle of the red Château Carignan Bordeaux 2010 from your local wine store. At around $25 a bottle, this wine is more than affordable. While you’re out, pick up a bar of dark chocolate that has around 70% cocoa. Pairing the two will give you a wonderful tasting experience.

CarignanBottle - Your Next Date Idea: Wine Pairing

The wine

The Château Carignan Bordeaux comes from Carignan de Bordeaux in the Bordeaux region of France. Château Carignan is almost 600 years old. The vineyards lie on limestone hillsides and produce well-rounded, highly fruity wines. The grapes that compose it are 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Cabernet Franc, most of which are hand harvested. The wine is then harvested in oak barrels from nine months to a year.

CarignanBottleGlass - Your Next Date Idea: Wine Pairing

Presentation

It’s a deep ruby color with a sweet fruit and savory mineral finish. Flavors of cocoa, black fruit, cassis, blackberries, and spices can be found in this well balanced wine. You can smell a toasted oak flavor as soon as the bottle is opened. Let it sit for a minute before tasting.

The tasting

Set up a few pieces of dark chocolate on a plate, and pour the wine. Take the time for you and your date to swirl the wine, noticing the aroma of blackberries and spices that come from it. Take a small sip, and observe the flavors. The Carignan has an oaky taste to it with hints of berry fruits.

CarignanWineChocolate - Your Next Date Idea: Wine Pairing

Now move on to the chocolate. Take a bite of the sweet yet bitter chocolate, and notice how beautifully it pairs with the wine. The dark chocolate works well to even out the full-bodied wine. Try this with a few varieties of chocolate to see which one you prefer. Each time take a small sip of the wine, followed by a slow, savory bite of dark chocolate. It’s a combination you’ll want to try again and again.

Carignan chocolate - Your Next Date Idea: Wine PairingThe nice thing about the Château Carignan Bordeaux is that it pairs well with more than just chocolate. Save the bottle to create your own pairings in the future. Beef or lamb goes well with the wine if you want to include it alongside your next dinner. Stronger cheeses like Roquefort can be a nice accompaniment to the wine as well.

Hopefully by this time you’ve discovered a new love for Bordeaux and see the different ways it can be paired with food. You should also have a happy lady at your side beaming at how creative her man is. The only problem is the pressure you now have to plan another perfect date!

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