Looking to throw a party that’s both sophisticated and fun? A wine and chocolate pairing party is just the ticket. Not only is it a delightful experience for the taste buds, but it’s also a fantastic way to bring friends together. Plus, it pairs perfectly with our murder mystery party games, Death By Chocolate, and also Murder at the Winery!

We also have a guide to throwing a wine and cheese pairing here if you want to incorporate some cheesy goodness to your wine and chocolate pairing.

We have curated some ideas for items you can use at your chocolate party for easy party planning. Some of them may give us a kickback for referring.

I’ll never forget the first wine and chocolate pairing party I went to. A friend of mine, who was an amazing party host, invited a tight group of us ladies for such a unique girls night party idea, I still think of it over a decade later.

Yes, we drank wine and ate chocolate and laughed and had an amazing time, but I also learned a lot. I don’t know if I ever would have thought to pair Shiraz with spicy chocolate or cinnamon and rose! It was a night I will always remember, and I have since thrown my own wine and chocolate pairings with my friends.

So, let’s dive into some tips and tricks to make your chocolate and wine party unforgettable!

How to Host an Unforgettable Wine and Chocolate Pairing Party

Pairing Chocolate with Wine: A Match Made in Sweet Sweet Heaven

First, you have to decide what kind of wine you will serve. We will talk about some wines from all three categories, but if you have a group who loves red wine, you may not want to venture into the world of rose (or, maybe you do to mix it up!)

Now that you know what wine you’ll serve, you need to consider how much wine you will need for your party! Here’s a simple guide to help you plan:

General Rule of Thumb

Plan on each guest drinking about half a bottle of wine (375ml) over the course of a 2-3 hour party. This accounts for tasting multiple wines and having enough to pair with chocolates.

For 4-6 Guests: 3-4 bottles of wine

For 8-10 Guests: 5-6 bottles of wine

For 12-14 Guests: 7-8 bottles of wine

For 16-18 Guests: 9-10 bottles of wine

For 20+ Guests: 11+ bottles of wine


– Variety: Offer a mix of red, white, and rosé wines to cater to different tastes and pairings.

– Extra Bottles: It’s always a good idea to have a few extra bottles on hand, just in case. You don’t want to run out of wine mid-party!

– Non-Alcoholic Options: Remember to provide some non-alcoholic options for guests who may prefer them. There are a lot of really great non-alcoholic wine options out there these days, so in the spirit of trying new wine and chocolate combinations, I recommend getting at least one bottle of non-alcoholic wine to add to the mix!

Now for the fun part – deciding which wine you’ll pair with which chocolate! Here’s some direction, but have some fun with this and create your own combinations as well!

Red Wines

Cabernet Sauvignon: This bold wine pairs wonderfully with dark chocolates that have a high cocoa content. The robust flavours complement each other perfectly.

Merlot: A bit softer, Merlot pairs well with milk chocolate and chocolates with caramel or nutty fillings.

Pinot Noir: With its delicate and complex flavours, Pinot Noir is fantastic with dark chocolate that has fruity undertones.

Zinfandel: The spiciness of Zinfandel goes hand-in-hand with chocolates that have a hint of spice or are infused with pepper.

Syrah/Shiraz: This wine’s bold and peppery notes make it a great match for dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage.

Malbec: The rich, dark fruit flavours of Malbec pair beautifully with dark chocolate, especially those with berry fillings.

Sangiovese: With its bright acidity and earthy notes, Sangiovese pairs wonderfully with dark chocolate that has a hint of spice or dried fruit. Serve alongside dried cherries and a selection of aged cheeses like Pecorino Romano to enhance the experience.

White Wines

Chardonnay: The buttery notes of Chardonnay match beautifully with white chocolate or chocolates with creamy fillings.

Riesling: Its sweetness pairs excellently with milk chocolate, especially those with fruit fillings like raspberry or orange.

Sauvignon Blanc: This crisp and zesty wine pairs well with white chocolate and chocolates with citrus fillings.

Pinot Grigio: Light and refreshing, Pinot Grigio is great with white chocolate and chocolates with tropical fruit flavours.

Gewürztraminer: Known for its aromatic and slightly sweet profile, it pairs excellently with milk chocolate and chocolates with floral notes.

Moscato: The sweetness of Moscato complements milk chocolate, especially those with caramel or honey fillings.

Rosé Wines

Dry Rosé: This versatile wine pairs nicely with a variety of chocolates, but especially with milk chocolate and chocolates with berry fillings.

Sweet Rosé: Perfect with white chocolate and chocolates with a hint of spice, like cinnamon or chili.

Provence Rosé: Known for its light and crisp profile, it pairs well with white chocolate and chocolates with delicate fruit flavours.

Sparkling Rosé: The effervescence of sparkling rosé pairs wonderfully with milk chocolate and chocolates with a hint of cream.

Grenache Rosé: With its fruity and floral notes, it pairs beautifully with milk chocolate and chocolates with berry fillings.

Sangiovese Rosé: The bright acidity and fruity notes make it a great match for dark chocolate with a hint of spice or pepper.

Spicy Chocolates and Their Perfect Pairings

For those who love a bit of heat, spicy chocolates are a fantastic addition to your pairing party. Here’s how to pair them

– Dark Chocolate with Chili: Pair with Zinfandel or Shiraz. The spiciness of the wine complements the heat in the chocolate.
– Milk Chocolate with Cinnamon: Pair with Sweet Rosé or Gewürztraminer. The sweetness balances the spice beautifully.
– White Chocolate with Ginger: Pair with Moscato or Riesling. The sweetness and acidity enhance the warmth of the ginger.

Side Items to Serve

Spiced Nuts: Almonds or pecans with a hint of chili or cinnamon.
– Dried Fruits: Mango, apricots, or pineapple slices with a sprinkle of chili powder.
– Spicy Cheese: A selection of cheeses with a hint of spice, like pepper jack.

To complement your wine and chocolate pairings, consider offering

– Cheese Platter: A selection of cheeses like Brie, Gouda, and Blue Cheese can provide a savory balance. (Check out How To Throw a Wine and Cheese Party for more wine and cheese pairing ideas!)
– Fresh Fruits: Strawberries, raspberries, and figs can enhance the tasting experience.
– Nuts and Crackers: Almonds, walnuts, and a variety of crackers can add texture and flavor diversity.

To ensure your guests fully enjoy each pairing, offer palate cleansers between tastings

-Plain Crackers: Simple and effective, plain crackers help neutralize the palate.
– Sparkling Water: The bubbles in sparkling water can refresh the taste buds.
– Green Apple Slices: The tartness of green apples can cleanse the palate without overwhelming it.
– Cucumber Slices: Light and refreshing, cucumbers are a great neutralizer.

Decorating Your Tasting Area

Create a cozy and elegant atmosphere with these decorating tips:

– Candles and Fairy Lights: Set the mood with soft lighting.
– Elegant Table Settings: Use wine glasses, tasting plates, and napkins that match your theme.
– Chocolate and Wine Displays: Arrange your chocolates and wines on a beautiful platter or tray for an eye-catching centerpiece.
– Personalized Name Cards: Create personalized name cards for each guest at their tasting spot. It’s a small touch that makes everyone feel special. You can simply write names on place cards, or get creative with what represents each person at their place setting.
– Wine Charms: Provide wine charms for guests to identify their glasses. Choose charms that match the theme of your party for an added touch of elegance. One of the most beloved gifts I have ever given my guests were wine charms that were also bracelets. I created them with beads and a charm with their initial. Wrapped twice around the stem, they served as a great way of keeping track of their glasses for the evening, and after the wine party they became a beautiful piece of jewellery for them to keep and remember our chocolate and wine night!

Fun Tips, Ideas and Extras

Create a Pairing Tracking Sheet

Help your guests keep track of their favorite pairings with a simple tracking sheet. Include columns for:
– Wine Name
– Chocolate Type
– Tasting Notes
– Favorite Pairings

This not only adds an interactive element to your party but also gives your guests a keepsake to remember the evening.

Fun Ideas and Tips

– Mystery Element: Incorporate our Death By Chocolate murder mystery game, or Murder at the Winery mystery party kit to add an exciting twist to your party. It’s a fantastic way to engage your guests and make the evening memorable.

– Tasting Notes Station: Set up a small station with pens and cards where guests can jot down their thoughts on each pairing.

– BYO Wine: Mix it up a bit by having each guest bring a bottle of their favourite wine. Then, as a group, you can sample and decide which chocolate pairs best with each guest’s favourite wine! This is a bit more advanced, but is a lot of fun. Everyone has a story behind their favourite wine, and this gives your guests the chance to share something they love while connecting and getting to know each other better.

Chocolate Fondue with Wine Pairings

Here’s a twist that will wow your guests: a chocolate fondue station paired with wines.

Set up a fondue pot with melted chocolate (dark, milk, and white) and provide an array of dippables like strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, and even cheese. Again, if you don’t already have a fondue set, click here –  we’ve got you covered!

Pair each type of chocolate fondue with a different wine:

– Dark Chocolate Fondue: Pair with bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec.
– Milk Chocolate Fondue: Pair with fruity rosés like Grenache Rosé or Sweet Rosé.
– White Chocolate Fondue: Pair with sweet whites like Moscato or Riesling.

An image of red wine and chocolate
Inspiration for a wine and chocolate pairing party

Chocolate Fountain Station: A Decadent Delight

Add a touch of elegance and fun with a chocolate fountain station. It serves as both decor and a delicious treat for your guests. Amazon has some fun and reasonably-priced chocolate fountains here if you don’t already have one! Here’s how to set it up:

– Types of Chocolate: Use high-quality dark, milk, or white chocolate for the fountain. You can even offer multiple fountains with different types of chocolate.
– Dippables: Provide an assortment of dippables like strawberries, bananas, marshmallows, pretzels, and even small pieces of cake.
– Pairing Suggestions: Pair dark chocolate with bold reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, milk chocolate with fruity rosés like Grenache Rosé, and white chocolate with sweet whites like Moscato.

Decor Tips

– Elegant Display: Arrange the chocolate fountain on a beautifully decorated table with flowers and candles.
– Themed Napkins and Plates: Use napkins and plates that match the theme of your party to add a cohesive look.

Party Favors: A Sweet Goodbye

Send your guests home with a little something to remember the evening by:

Mini Wine Bottles: Choose a selection of wines from the evening and provide mini bottles as party favors.
Chocolate Sampler Boxes: Send your guests home with the chocolate they loved the most! Create small boxes with a variety of chocolates that were featured during the party.
– Personalized Wine Glasses: Have wine glasses engraved with the date of the party and a fun message. It’s a useful and memorable gift.

How to Create Personalized Elements

– Custom Labels: Print custom labels for wine bottles with the date and theme of your party.
– Personalized Tasting Sheets: Create tasting sheets with each guest’s name and space for their notes.
Themed Decorations: Use decorations that reflect the theme of your party, such as wine barrels, grapevines, or chocolate molds.

By combining these elements, you’ll create an enchanting evening that your guests will talk about for years to come. So, grab your favorite wines, some delectable chocolates, and get ready to host the ultimate wine and chocolate pairing party!

While not all parties are “theme parties,” all parties have a theme. Whether it’s a simple color scheme or an elaborate murder mystery, the theme you choose sets the tone for the entire event. Remember, the best theme is one that resonates with you and your guests, creating unforgettable memories.

We have so many Pinterest boards to inspire your party planning – join us!

Or, hang here and browse some more of our Party Planning How-Tos to make your party one no one will ever forget!

Murder mystery party tip!

Get the package that fits your CONFIRMED guests, not the “maybes” and “on-the-fencers”. We live this hosting life, and know that not everyone can firm up an RSVP (and let’s face it, some are just flaky… yup, we are just dropping truth today…). The packages are designed to have everyone, even if they aren’t a suspect themselves, be fully involved with the mystery, so don’t worry about anyone feeling like they aren’t involved. Trust us – most times the Sleuths have more fun than the Suspects.

Try this Hosting Hack when planning your next party, and let us know how it goes!

How to Host an Unforgettable Wine and Chocolate Pairing Party