How to host a Wine and Chocolate Pairing Party

Gather friends and family for a delightful chocolate and wine pairing party! Learn important tips for how to properly pair wine with chocolate, as well as how to make chocolate dipped strawberries to enjoy at the end of the night.

This post contains affiliate links.

Chocolate and Wine Pairing Party

I love throwing any kind of party at my home. Being a chocolate lover, a while back I was shocked/thrilled when a huge box of chocolates was delivered to my doorstep — thanks bestie!

After polling some friends in town and another friend who was coming in town for the weekend, I decided a Chocolate & Wine Pairing Party sounded fabulous.

So I gathered up a bunch of chocolate treats and bottles of wine and hosted friends for the a Chocolate and Wine Pairing Party at our home. Not surprisingly, we all felt crazy grown up (in a good way!) and had a blast.

What is a wine and chocolate party? Think wine and cheese, but for dessert!

join our party!

get our latest recipes delivered to your inbox every week — plus all my entertaining tips and tricks!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.

    Why I love this party idea:

    Chocolate and wine. Need I say more? OK, I will…

    • Tasting the wine and chocolate is a fun icebreaker and way to get people involved in the party.
    • This is an EASY party idea. You don’t have to do everything — ask guests to bring a bottle of wine and/or a chocolate treat.
    • It’s a party idea that guests will remember for a long time. Do it annually!

    A chocolate and wine party is great for book clubs, bridal showers, date nights, dinner parties, movie nights and casual gatherings with friends.

    You can even do it for the holidays (think a holiday gift swap) or for Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart or Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends.

    More party ideas: Cookie Swap | Cookie Decorating Party | Gingerbread House Party | Dinner Parties

    What you need to throw this party:

    The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.

    • Wine opener
    • Corks / bottle stoppers
    • Wine bucket
    • Glass or plastic wine glasses
    • Wine glass markers or gems, so people know whose is whose!
    • A bucket or bowl — to dump wines you don’t like (just like at a vineyard!)
    • Trays and serving plates, for chocolate and treats

    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Wineswe’ll get into this below, but plan to get a variety, or assign different types to your guests.
    • Chocolate — get a mix of types. Chocolate bars, truffles, candies, cookies, bark, chocolate covered strawberries all are great. More ideas for you below!
    • Savory foods — offer at least one salty, savory item to balance the sweet chocolate, like a Roasted Grape Bruschetta with Whipped Feta, an Easy Snack Board, a veggie plate, mixed nuts or sausage balls. If you want to pick up a vegetable platter from the grocery store, that’s another great idea for light snacking!

    How to host a wine tasting party

    Ready to throw your party? Here’s a step-by-step guide to planning your own event:

    1. Choose your party date and put together your guest list.

    The first thing you need to do in order to host a wine party is to choose your date and then invite friends. If it helps you to know, World Chocolate Day is July 7.

    Obviously, you need to do what works best for you here, but you will need a few hours to prep for the party and then the party itself will probably need to be about 3-4 hours.

    You could make this a double-date couples shindig, an ugly sweater party, a girlfriend get-together, a grown-up holiday party, office party, neighborhood party, or even a Christmas Eve tradition with your family.

    What is the perfect number of guests? To me, having anywhere from 6-12 guests is perfect. With 8 people or fewer, there’s enough wine in a bottle for everyone to have a half-glass for each tasting.

    For a bigger party, you will need to pick up extras of each wine type, so consider the cost of that.

    2. Decide how it will go…

    You have a few things to figure out before the party.

    • Will you buy the wine or ask guests to bring it?
    • Will you ask guests to bring at least one type of chocolate or treat?
    • Will guests be asked to bring a savory dish to snack on?
    • Do you plan to conduct a blind tasting? You’ll need a way to hide the options from other guests and label each wine with numbers so no one knows what is what.

    3. Invite friends.

    Next, you’ve got to get people to come over and send them the details!

    Chocolate and Wine Pairing Invitation Ideas:

    • Email invitation: Use an online service to email out invitations.
    • Paper invitation: You can send out invites the old-fashioned way! You can cut paper into the shape of gingerbread men or houses.
    • Text invitation: Who says it has to be fancy? Just get people to come over!

    Be sure to tell them the time, date, location, who to bring, what to bring, what to wear (cocktail attire, maybe?) and anything else you need them to know!

    4. Plan how to prep for the party.

    Below I have a list of all the supplies you will need. But one big thing to consider is how you will set up the tasting.

    You’ll also want to prepare a table and cover it with newspaper or a plastic tablecloth — wine can spill and chocolate can melt!

    You will need some extra surface area, so maybe set up a card table or clear off the counter top for drink stations.

    5. Plan what, if anything, you’ll serve along with the wine and chocolate.

    We like to have refreshments and light snacks for a wine-tasting party because it’s a good idea to have food options when you serve alcohol!

    Some snacks and drinks that might pair well include:

    • A cheese platter or charcuterie board would be a great pairing with wine.
    • Serve a non-alcoholic option, like apple cider punch or alcohol-removed wines for anyone who might not be drinking.
    • Chocolate and more chocolate! How about a dessert board or chocolate cheesecake dip?

    6. Figure out how you’ll conduct the tasting.

    You can structure the party in a few ways. Consider these themes, or just do a classic tasting (described below).

    • Blind tasting: Blindfold guests and let them guess what they like. Give prizes for correct guesses.
    • Scorecard: Print out a chart of all your options and let guests rate their faves.
    • One type only: Do all dark chocolate and red wines, or stick to whites and white chocolate.
    • Regional: Use wines and chocolate from your local community. You could also go for regions like French wines and chocolate or California wines and chocolate.
    • Types of treats: You could do different types of chocolate bars, brownies or cookies for the treats. My friend has a great Girl Scout cookie wine pairing guide that would be fun for a party.
    • Make it progressive and do it over several gatherings: I have a friend who has friends over to watch The Bachelor together, and each week she has a different wine and chocolate pairing to try! This would work for regular get-togethers like bible studies and book clubs.

    7. Plan how you will store the wine.

    Wines are best at certain temperatures. White wine, sparkling wine and rosé wine need to be chilled, whereas red wine can be enjoyed at room temperature.

    You’ll need a way to keep the whites and rosés chilled, whether that’s room in your fridge, an ice bucket or a cooler.

    8. Set the ambiance.

    I am of the mindset that we do not need our homes decorated to the hilt with decorations that we will set out for just one party.

    Let it be known: You don’t have to decorate your whole house for a wine party. You can make this gathering as fancy (or non-fancy) as you’d like. So if you run out of time, no one is going to judge you on your lack of flower arrangements or cutesy decor.

    That said, you can definitely consider adding the following decorations quite easily:

    • Centerpiece idea: Fresh cut greenery or grocery store flowers in a vase is simple yet elegant.
    • Paper (or fabric) napkins that match your gathering can add a pop of color to the tablescape! Chances are, you’ve probably got ‘em at home already.
    • Put out instructions. If you are letting guests do their own tasting at their own pace, provide instructions so you don’t have to man the station the whole time.
    • Make a bar! Turn a buffet table or another unused table in the dining room into a bar and offer up different options for friends and family to pour their own wine!
    • Add a pitcher or two of water or tea to the table. Add mint leaves, lemon slices and more things (like other citrus or even fresh herbs, like rosemary) to both water and tea, so have fun with it! This will add both height and color, as well as allow your guests to stay hydrated in between tastings.

    Here’s what I do: Dim the lights, put out a tablecloth, maybe put some candlesticks on the table! I keep it light but still festive. Oh, and a good playlist is a must.

    9. Optional: Plan a game or contest.

    Here are some ideas:

    • Do a blind tasting. Blindfold guests and let them try pairings together and guess what they are drinking.
    • Ask guests to describe the wines without using any wine names or words. The person who holds out the longest, wins!
    • Play bingo. Give guests bingo cards and check off the different wines they try. This is better for a bigger party with lots of wine types.
    Collage of woman posing in front of dinner table

    10.Take a deep breath, keep your cool and have fun!

    The day of your party, take a deep breath. The reason you’re doing this is because it’ll be fun!

    Here’s how I like to fashion the start of any entertaining day:

    • Drink a cup of coffee and collect my thoughts.
    • Choose what I’m wearing, if I haven’t already. (Honestly, this is great to decide days or even weeks in advance.)
    • Go over my cooking timeline. Make note of when I’m going to get ready.
    • Empty my dishwasher. This way, I won’t have dishes in the sink when guests arrive.
    • Get started with my first task.

    Hosting and entertaining can be stressful. Things can (and probably will) go awry.  But you can control how you respond to things.

    Some ways to combat the stress when things aren’t going as planned:

    • Deep breaths. My older daughter’s teacher taught her all kinds of breathing exercises, and I like to use these to this day.
    • Enlist help. There is nothing wrong in asking for assistance!
    • Let guests mingle for a little longer than planned.

    You can do this. Promise.

    Don’t let entertaining keep you from interacting with your guests. Whenever we host, we’ve found everyone tends to gather in the kitchen as we finish whatever we are serving, and it’s a lot of fun to chat as you finish cooking.

    When you’re hosting a party with wine and chocolate, this line of thinking applies, too. Make this fun for everyone—and everyone includes YOU. Your friends are celebrating with you because they like you, so spend time with them!

    Collage of four images showing chocolates on a white platter and wine

    Chocolate and wine pairings

    What wines go with what chocolates? Here’s a quick guide:

    White chocolate: A riesling, sparkling pink or red wine or a moscato works really well. (We used Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Washington State.) Try serving mini white chocolate bundt cakes or avalanche cookies along with white chocolate bars.

    Milk chocolate: Pair the chocolate with a buttery chardonnay, a pinot noir or a merlot. (We served California’s Clos du Bois Chardonnay and a pinot noir whose name I cannot remember since I didn’t take a photo of it.) Serve up milk chocolate bars, chocolate-covered pretzels, M&M cookies or chocolate almond cookies.

    Dark chocolate: I recommend a cabernet sauvignon, a merlot or a syrah. (We used Bliss Vineyard’s Merlot from California.) We love to serve these dark chocolate chip cookies and dark chocolate brownies along with tasting bars of dark chocolate. 

    Collage of four images showing people eating chocolate and drinking wine

    How to do a chocolate & wine tasting

    When you taste chocolate and wine together, there’s a certain order to try everything in to get the most out of the flavors. Here is a great guide on how to use the five senses in a chocolate and wine tasting:

    1. Examine the wine’s color, shade and clarity.
    2. Examine the chocolate: Is it smooth? Does it have a silky matte shine?
    3. Snap the chocolate and examine the break. There should be an audible snap and a clean break.
    4. Smell the wine.
    5. Smell the chocolate.
    6. Sip the wine.
    7. Taste the chocolate, letting it melt on your tongue.
    8. Sip more wine just as the chocolate is almost finished melting in your mouth.
    9. In between chocolates and wines, sip room temperature water and eat a bite of bread (or a cracker) to cleanse your palate before moving forward, then repeat the steps!

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    • Ask people to bring wines and/or chocolate to help with creativity. Assign them types or let them surprise you.
    • Do a contest with a good prize to get everyone involved.
    • Buy extra wine. You can always drink it another time or give it away later.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What wines go with chocolate?

    For white chocolate, try a riesling, sparkling pink or red wine, or a moscato. For milk chocolate, pair it with a buttery chardonnay, pinot noir, or merlot. Dark chocolate goes well with heartier red wines, like cabernet sauvignon, merlot or syrah.

    How many bottles of wine do I need for a party?

    This depends greatly on how many people are attending, how long the party is and their drinking preferences. Estimate 2-4 glasses per guest based on event duration and preferences. Multiply by the number of guests to find total glasses needed. Divide by 4-6 glasses per standard wine bottle to determine the bottle count. Consider getting a variety of types of wine and additional beverage options. It’s wise to have extras.

    Quick tips and tricks to hosting the BEST wine and chocolate pairing party

    • Save time by buying chocolate desserts or chocolate bars. Don’t stress yourself out to make a lot of stuff.
    • You will need more wine than you think!
    • Offer guests a way to mark their wine glasses, either little wine charms or markers to write on the glasses or cups.

    More chocolate dessert recipes:

    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

    Similar Posts

    Before leaving a comment or rating, ask yourself:

    • Did you make the recipe as directed? If you didn’t or made an ingredient swap, please do not leave a rating. Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.
    • Is your comment helpful to others? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Please remember that this website is run by a real person.
    • Are you complaining about ads? I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising allows me to continue to do so at not cost to you. It is also unavoidable on the internet and in everyday life. If you want recipes without ads, please purchase a cookbook or borrow one from your local library.


      1. I definitely felt like the luckiest girl in the world with all that chocolate and wine! I definitely recommend checking it out because they were all delicious!

    1. Oh yuuummmmmm!!! I’m drooling over here! I love their truffles–I can’t imagine how good that coconut bar must be.

      1. I bet you can find that coconut bar in Germany, lady! And if I had an extra one, I’d send it your way so you could experience it. I’m not much of a coconut fan, but it was absolutely delish!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *