Pairing Wine with Chocolate Cake

Dessert wines or dark-fruited reds are best with sweet, chocolate indulgences.
Jordan Mackay

A FORTIFIED DESSERT WINE

Velvety and sweet with a big mouthfeel and layers of rich fruit, a fortified wine is a good partner for chocolate cake's earthy flavors.

Try Portugal's most famous product: ruby port. A classic pairing with chocolate, it's sweet and concentrated enough for even the densest cakes. "Ruby" is port's designation for wines that are still red. These wines are fortified—more alcoholic—than table reds, so serve them in smaller, 3-ounce portions.

Matchups: Taylor Fladgate, Ruby Porto, Portugal ($14), Graham's, "Six Grapes" Port, Portugal ($20)

A DARK-FRUITED RED

A concentrated red wine with velvety texture, oaky spice, and dark-berry fruit meshes with chocolate's mocha flavors.

Rich, lush cabernet sauvignon from warmer climates such as California and Australia goes well with chocolate (especially dark). Cabernet's cassistinged fruit also loves chocolate's toastiness.

Matchups: J. Lohr Vineyards; "Seven Oaks" Cabernet Sauvignon; Paso Robles, California; 2011 ($14),Yalumba, "Y" Cabernet Sauvignon, Australia, 2012 ($11)

View Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Cake