Inniskillin Vidal Icewine and Garrison Confections Stone Fruit Crumble Truffle

Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

The Power Couple
They might seem like the ideal Valentine's Day couple, but wine and chocolate don't always click: A sweet bite of one can make a sip of the other taste bitter, and tannins in wine can drown out chocolate's nuances. With a little know-how, though, you can create a more perfect union, says Ted Allen, host of the Food Network's Chopped. Here, we asked Allen to play matchmaker.

Above: Inniskillin Vidal Icewine ($55) + Garrison Confections Stone Fruit Crumble Truffle ($12 for an assortment of six)

"A fruit-based chocolate makes a good match with a dessert wine. These truffles' pear, peach, and apricot flavors—with graham cracker crumble and enrobed in dark chocolate—enhance the wine's stone fruit and honey aromas."

Hogue Riesling and Max Brenner Yin and Yang Favorites

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Hogue Riesling ($9) + Max Brenner Yin and Yang Favorites (pralines coated in white chocolate, $13)
"Since it's sweeter than dark or milk chocolate and tastes of honey and vanilla, white chocolate balances the tartness of the Riesling's tangerine notes."

Robert Mondavi Meritage and Ghirardelli's Dark Chocolate Squares

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Robert Mondavi Private Selection Meritage ($9) + Ghirardelli's 60% Intense Dark Chocolate Squares ($3.50 for 12)
"This Bordeaux blend is high in acidity, so it needs a robust chocolate with high cacao content to stand up to the wine's dryness and bring out its berry flavors."

Piper-Heidsieck Brut Rose Sauvage and Godiva Truffle

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Piper-Heidsieck Brut Rosé Sauvage ($50) + Godiva Truffle ($16.50 for eight-piece assortment)
"A rosé Champagne gets its color from crushed black grape skins, which add a bit of sharp tannin to the bubbly. These truffles are rich and decadent enough to equalize those acids."

Estancia Pinot Noir and Brix Medium Dark Chocolate

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Estancia Pinot Noir ($16) + Brix Medium Dark Chocolate ($39 for three 8-ounce bars)
"Brix crafts chocolate specifically to pair with wine. The medium-dark bar is the most versatile, complementing anything from a medium-bodied Merlot to a deep Pinot like Estancia's, which is full of blueberry and cherry notes."

Ruffino Chianti Classico and Vosges Rooster Truffle

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Ruffino Chianti Classico, Riserva Ducale ($24) + Vosges Rooster Truffle ($37)
"The Vosges blend of Taleggio cheese, walnuts, Tahitian vanilla, and bittersweet dark chocolate is absolutely out of this world. The dark, full-bodied flavors in the Chianti play off the Taleggio, which is strong in aroma but mild and fruity on the tongue."

Strong Arms 2006 Shiraz Fifteen Terrific Wines $15 and Under