A special Port made to complement Dark Chocolate

Port pairs wonderfully with many foods, but few as perfectly and pleasurably as chocolate.
Try Dow's Nirvana with a dark chocolate with 64% cacao for the ultimate pairing.

At Dow’s we have always encouraged food pairing to enhance the experience and enjoyment of our Ports. For generations it has been well known that Port pairs well with many types of cheese, the classic combination being with Stilton. Now, an innovative tradition is developing which reflects the changing tastes of a new generation of Port drinkers and appreciators of fine wine.

A sublime combination that defines a perfect food pairing; Port and chocolate.

Recognizing the great appeal of this perfect pairing supported by the increased interest and appeal for Dark Chocolate, Dow’s set out together with the help of The Flanders Taste Foundation in Belgium to craft a Port that would provide the ultimate match.

Using carefully selected wines from Dow’s principal vineyards, Quinta do Bomfim and Senhora da Ribeira, Charles Symington and his team produced a number of different styles of wines that they felt would best complement chocolate. After a series of preliminary tastings together with a well respected Sommelier and wine taster, the blend was refined to accentuate the floral aromas and the tannic structure of the wine. Samples of this blend were then sent to be scientifically analyzed at the University of Leuven, where Professor Lammertyn and his team identified the key flavour components that were both common and complementary to the Port and to chocolates of different styles and origins.

Based on these findings, The Flanders Taste Foundation panel (including a respected young chocolatier, a food pairing expert, a former Michelin Star Chef, and a well-known sommelier) produced a food pairing analysis report to define the best combination.

The result of this unique process was the creation of Dow’s Nirvana, a Port that has been specifically made to complement chocolate.

The floral aromas of wild roses and violets that are so prominent in Nirvana are the hallmark of the grapes grown at Dow’s Quinta da Senhora da Ribeira, a very fine south facing property of 26 hectares situated in the remote Douro Superior. The soft ripe tannins, intense texture and dry finish present in Dow’s Nirvana comes from a combination of the old vines, the large percentage of Touriga Franca and Touriga Nacional and the special terroir of Dow’s Quinta do Bomfim. This vineyard’s wines have formed an integral part of all the great Dow’s Vintage Ports produced over the last century, including the highly acclaimed Dow’s 2007 Vintage Port recently awarded a perfect 100 points by The Wine Spectator.

Dow’s Nirvana will pair well with most dark chocolate although the best combinations are to be found with dark chocolate that originate from Ecuador, Peru, Uganda and Costa Rica with a cacao content of between 60 to 75%.  

Try Dow’s Nirvana with a dark chocolate from Costa Rica with 64% Cacao for the ultimate pairing.