WINE AND CHOCOLATE – THE PERFECT MATCH

Wine and Chocolate – The Perfect Match for any dessert. Are you a chocolate lover or a connoisseur of fine wines?  Then you have found the perfect place to indulge all your chocolate cravings and wine delights.

Chocolate and Wine- Food and Drink of the gods

Chocolate – Food of the gods

The origins of chocolate can be traced back to the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations in Central America. ‘Theobroma cacao’, meaning ‘food of the gods’, was prized for centuries by the Central American Mayan Indians, who first enjoyed a much-prized spicy drink called ‘chocolatl’, made from roasted cocoa beans.chocolate3

The Aztecs introduced cocoa to the Spaniards, who took it back to Europe in the 16th century. However it was very expensive, so only the rich could afford it. Chocolate was exclusively for drinking until the early Victorian times when a technique for making solid ‘eating’ chocolate was devised.

Wine – The Drink of the gods

Dionysus is the god of the grape-harvest, winemaking and wine, of fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, and theatre in ancient Greek religion and myth.  Rituals and festivals in his honor were legendary and lasted for days and even weeks.  This god was known for his fine wines and food that was readily available during his many parties.

chocolate1Wine in the days of the Greeks and Romans was the only thing you could drink without getting sick.  During those times, the water was so polluted that it was unsafe to drink.  Wine was the accepted drink for all classes in the social hierarchy.  It was socially acceptable then as it is now.  Needless to say, wine went with everything.

Chocolate and Wine is Divine

So even back then chocolate and wine were highly coveted by the common man and royalty.  Several tons of chocolate are consumed yearly. Wine It is heavenly.  Having a piece of chocolate after a meal, divine.  A piece of chocolate with a glass of fine wine enhances the taste. Sometimes, we do not need a reason to eat chocolate, We just do!!!

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Indulge with the one you love – Chocolate and Wine

The next time you eat a piece of chocolate, you may not have to feel so guilty about it. Despite its bad reputation for causing weight gain,a number of health benefits may be associated with this delicious treat.

Chocolate is made from tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds. Its earliest use dates back to the Olmec civilization in Mesoamerica. After the European discovery of the Americas, chocolate became very popular in the wider world, and its demand exploded.


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Chocolate has since become a popular food product that millions enjoy every day, thanks to its unique, rich, and sweet taste.

But what effect does eating chocolate have on our health?

Fast facts on chocolate. Here are some key points about chocolate.

  • Chocolate consumption has long been associated with conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
  • Chocolate is believed to contain high levels of antioxidants.
  • Some studies have suggested chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline.
  • Chocolate contains a large number of calories.
  • People who are seeking to lose or maintain weight should eat chocolate only in moderation.

Benefits

Does chocolate have any health benefits?

Chocolate receives a lot of bad press because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes.

However, according to a review of chocolate’s health effects published in the Netherlands Journal of Medicine, it’s not all bad news.The authors point to the discovery that cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, contains biologically active phenolic compounds.

 

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This has changed people’s views on chocolate, and it has stimulated research into how it might impact aging, and conditions such as oxidative stress, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis.

Chocolate’s antioxidant potential may have a range of health benefits. The higher the cocoa content, as in dark chocolate, the more benefits there are. Dark chocolate may also contain less fat and sugar, but it is important to check the label.

Eating chocolate may have the following benefits:

  • lowering cholesterol levels
  • preventing cognitive decline
  • reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems

It is important to note that the possible health benefits mentioned below came from single studies. More research is needed to confirm that eating chocolate can really improve people’s health.

In addition, chocolate bars do not contain only cocoa. The benefits and risks of any other ingredients, such as sugar and fat, need to be considered.

Risks and precautions

Chocolate may have health benefits, but it can have some negative effects, too.

  • Weight gain
  • Sugar content
  • Migraine risk
  • Bone health
  • Heavy metals

In 2017, Consumer Lab tested 43 chocolate products and found that nearly all cocoa powders contained more than 0.3 mcg cadmium per serving. This is the maximum amount recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

All in all, eating chocolate can have both health benefits and risks. As ever, moderation is key.


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Light vs. dark chocolate

Manufacturers of light, or milk, chocolate, claim that their product is better for health because it contains milk, and milk provides protein and calcium. Supporters of dark chocolate point to the higher iron content and levels of antioxidants in their product.


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The darker the chocolate, the higher the concentration of cocoa, and so, in theory, the higher the level of antioxidants there will be in the bar.

However, nutrients vary widely in commercially available chocolate bars. This also  depends on the brand and type you choose. It is best to check the label if you want to be sure of the nutrients.

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Craving chocolate yet?

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I have heard dark chocolate has benefits too.  This is what I have found.

7 Awesome Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

  • Protection from Disease-Causing Free Radicals.
  • Potential Cancer Prevention.
  • Improved Heart Health.
  • Good for Overall Cholesterol Profile.
  • Better Cognitive Function.
  • Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Aid.
  • Antioxidant-Rich Superfood.

Now our Vegan and Vegetarian friends can enjoy the wonderful taste of chocolate through some amazing companies that specialize in these types of products.  You do not have to give up all your favorite foods due to a life-style change.  Enjoy chocolate in all its forms.

Wine is the Perfect complement to chocolate

Did you know that wine, especially red wine, also has some healthy benefits.


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A glass of red wine contains the following plant-based, healthy compounds:

  • Antioxidants: 

With red wine, antioxidant's free-radical fighting capabilities are taken to the next level.

  • Flavonoids: 
  • Polyphenols:

As one of the leading flavonoids in the liquid, polyphenols are cancer-fighting and inflammation-reducing compounds that have been researched in labs and real-world studies alike.

The Health Benefits of Red Wine

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Red Wine great for Heart Health

Terminology aside, why exactly is red wine good for you? What does it do inside the body, and how are its effects good for you in the short and long-term? Research has a lot to reveal when it comes to answering the health benefits of red wine:

  • Improves cardiovascular health:  

Perched at the top of red wine's health list are its heart and overall cardiovascular benefits.

  • Anti-inflammatory agents: 
  • Balances blood sugars: The resveratrol compounds common in red wines are shown to prevent insulin resistance and related metabolic disorders, shielding against diabetes or moderating post-meal blood sugar levels. Because of their imbalanced insulin production, adults with Type 2 diabetes are two to four times as likely to develop cardiovascular complications or heart disease. With diet as the leading factor in managing diabetes and blood-sugar levels, moderate consumption of quality red wine could be a welcome mealtime addition for those exploring diet-based diabetes solutions.


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  • Prevents certain types of cancers: 
  • Decreases cognitive impairment: 

Maintains healthy weight and fights against obesity: Due to a chemical compound known as piceatannol, red wine has been linked with reducing the ability for fat cells to grow and generate in their early stages.

  • Maintains healthy weight and fights against obesity: Due to a chemical compound known as piceatannol, red wine has been linked with reducing the ability for fat cells to grow and generate in their early stages. Piceatannol blocks these immature fat cells from binding with your body’s insulin, meaning fat cells can’t communicate properly to signal the start of their growth cycles. What’s more, piceatannol can also shut down certain gene reactions that, when triggered, cause fat formation and storage across your body.
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Chocolate and Wine Pairings

With all the special occasions on the horizon, what better way to cover all your bases than with some mouth-watering chocolates and a fine, exclusive wine in a romantic setting.  Especially if they come from your own clubs.

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Here are some great ideas for Chocolate and Wine Pairings

Cabernet Sauvignon and dark chocolate = a match made in heaven! It works because the chocolate mellows the tannins in the wine, but rich, dark Cabernet Sauvignon has enough fruit and structure to withstand the boldness of the chocolate. This is the ultimate classic pairing!


Cabernet Franc, its lighter counterpart, pairs with milk chocolate. This red is a bit more approachable — and since milk chocolate is arguably the most approachable form of this sweet, this is a perfect pairing!
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Chocolate caramel is higher in sugar than regular chocolate (let’s face it: the caramel’s chock-full of the stuff), so you need a wine with higher RS to stand up to the gooey goodness. The only option? A bold dessert wine, like a port!

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It’s hard to think of a combination featuring white wine and traditional chocolate that actually works, but luckily white chocolate’s here to save the day. Instead of dark flavors, it focuses on cream and sugar — so while a dry white would taste bitter, a sweet one boasts enough sugar and enough oomph to take care of business.

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In terms of indulgence,  Shiraz is pretty much where it’s at in wine. To find its chocolate partner, we turned to truffles; the insides of these yummy chocolates are denser, so they pair beautifully with the spice and depth of flavor in Shiraz.

My conclusion:

Chocolate in all its forms is delicious and heavenly on the palate. Mixed with your favorite red or white wine is a recipe for romance.  However as with all things, it should be indulged in moderation.  So, have a piece or two with a glass of wine and then take a walk with your spouse, significant other or laze away in the hot tub or bath and enjoy each other.