ask dr. vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.


Dear Dr. Vinny,

I want to serve a special dessert, and while I was in Porto a few years ago, I enjoyed a late vintage Port with a chocolate cake covered with raspberry sauce. It was outstanding. Can you recommend a wine? Can you recommend anything else?

—David P.

Dear David,

I can recommend all kinds of things. First off, I recommend you check out my Port primer, where I break down the basics of Port, including the different types made. When you refer to “late vintage Port,” I think you mean Late-bottled Vintage (or LBV) Port, which is typically easy-drinking and accessible upon release.

Port and chocolate make a classic pairing, and I’ve had great experiences pairing Vintage, LBV, and even Tawny Ports with chocolate desserts. I recommend that you stick to dark chocolate and avoid making your dessert overly sweet.

Since each type of Port has a slightly different flavor profile, you might want to consider the type of Port and the type of chocolate dessert you make. For example, a chocolate dessert with a fruity component will probably pair better with a more fruity Port like an LBV. Or, if you’re like me and love your chocolate paired with spice or nuts, then you should consider a Tawny Port for that match.

—Dr. Vinny


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