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L to R: Jason Slack, Greg Neruda and Tara Bruner

Featured Article

Pairing Wine and Chocolate

Jason Stack, Greg Neruda, & Tara Bruner explore the perfect pairings of wine and chocolate

Article by Tara Bruner + Greg Neruda

Photography by Tara Bruner, Olive and Vyne

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

It was inevitable, the newly opened Chocolat Bar and Olive and Vyne’s Wine Shop are side by side in Eagle, and like strong magnets, the forces of wine and chocolate clicked and snapped together.  

Jason Stack, owner of The Chocolat Bar in Boise and now in Eagle, suggested we choose the wine first, taste it, and then he picked out specific chocolates to try. He was spot-on as he expertly paired unique flavors of fruit or warm spices with the chocolate, some a complete surprise.

During our tasting, Jason tells us that there are more than 300 compounds in chocolate. Likewise, we share that there are more than 300 compounds in the skin of a wine grape. Whew, that’s a lot of chemistry and complexity to sort out and make user friendly. 

After sampling five bottles of wine and a pound of chocolate, how could we not succeed? And how nice to go home with leftovers! 


Round 1 

  • Cloudveil Chardonnay, not heavily oaked, worked really well with the dark chocolate Nutmeg Drop. There was a wow factor in this pairing. Lesson learned…a white wine can pair nicely with dark chocolate, and specifically with the warm spice flavor of nutmeg.  

Round 2

  • Trimbach Gewurtztraminer, with a dark chocolate Cinnamon Drop. A surprising and delicious combination that made the cinnamon extraordinarily expressive. Again, the wine and the cinnamon were good dance partners that made this pairing an awesome treat.

Round 3

  • San Rocco Valpolicella Ripasso with dark chocolate Mocha Drop. The wine was low tannin, silky textured and with a port-like taste that paired nicely with the espresso flavors. The lingering finish in the wine delivered dark chocolate, raisins and espresso. Our learning curve was to stay away from highly tannic red wine. 

Round 4 

  • We first thought tawny or ruby, but opted for the lesser known white port. Broadbent White Port was a real eye-opener when paired with a Chocolate Dipped Glacé Orange. For those who like chocolate and orange, this is amazing.  

Stop by and and tell us your favorite wine and chocolate pairing.

  • L to R: Jason Slack, Greg Neruda and Tara Bruner

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