Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Johnny Cash and June Carter, red wine and chocolate. Some of the best things in life just go even better together.

After all, chocolate and wine have so much in common. Naturally intoxicating for both wine-addicts and chocolate-addicts, the two are sometimes called sinful, one of life’s little luxuries or a Dionysian pleasure. Wine and chocolates are among the most popular gifts for Valentine’s Day… or really, any day… and come in a large variety of flavours and weights and residual sugars. And while wine and chocolate may start out differently (one’s beginnings come in the form of a grape, while chocolates start off as a bean), they are both fermented with the same type of yeast.

Of course, not all chocolate and wine pairings work quite as beautifully together as others. Just like complimenting the right food to the right wine, one must know how to best pair wine and chocolates together for the best flavour combination.

For example, red wines with notes of berries and cloves pair beautifully with chocolate’s rich, creamy, sweet flavours. Dark chocolates, with its high percentage of cocoa, are to be savoured with a robust, bold red… not merely enjoyed. This is the magic of finding the perfect flavour combination.

And where better to learn the nuances of wine and chocolate pairings than in a castle in France? AmaWaterways brings guests to the splendid 16th century castle, the Château de Tournon. Listed as a historical monument since 1938, the castle offers lovely views and a very authentic atmosphere. A local expert will guide you through a special presentation and delicious pairing that is sure to entice your taste buds.

As you’ll learn (and undoubtedly return home to impress all your friends), the choice of wine should always be sweeter than dessert. And when considering what best goes with what, remember to consider both texture and taste.

After all, just like the staggering variety of world-class wines, there are numerous tempting options for a choice in chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, caramel chocolate, even nutty chocolates and chocolates mixed in with fruits, pretzels, popcorn, the mouth-watering list goes on and tantalisingly on.

A warm chocolate soufflé is quite different from a store bought cold piece of chocolate which is quite different from a gourmet bag of popcorn coated in chocolate. The wine selection might be considered appropriately.

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