• Whether you’re a coffee lover, red wine drinker or you enjoy the kick of a smooth whisky, there’s a chocolate to go with every bev of choice. When paired artfully, it can be a devilishly pleasurable experience.

    Finding the perfect pair might be a trial-and-error process, and you can experiment with different types of chocolate and different types of drinks. The basic rule for the perfect chocolate/booze pairing is: to balance the flavours. For example, if you’re having strong bitter chocolate, a sweeter wine or spirit might be the perfect accompaniment.

    We share more tips and some of the best places to try the combinations in Johannesburg.


    When it comes to wine, both wine and chocolate offer intricate and complex flavours. The key to pairing wine and chocolate lies in determining your preferred flavour profile of the wine. As a general guideline, lighter chocolates like milk chocolate pair well with white wines, while darker chocolates are best complemented by red wine. It’s also important to consider the additional flavours present in the chocolate, such as fruity, rich, or spicy notes. Once identified, the chocolate can enhance and complement the tasting notes of the wine.

    According to Jonah Naidoo, the founder of Dry Dock Liquor, wine and chocolate tasting presents a unique and unparalleled flavour experience. He highlights the collaboration between Kevin Arnold and chocolatier Richard von Geusau, who have crafted a range of dark milk chocolates specifically designed to be paired with their shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, and natural sweet wine. The result is an extraordinary flavour sensation that surpasses all expectations.

    Alcohol and chocolate pairings in Johannesburg
    Picture: eighteen13 / Instagram

    1. Eighteen13 Wine Shop & Tasting Room

    Immerse yourself in a one-of-a-kind chocolate and wine pairing adventure at Eighteen13 Wine Shop & Tasting Room.

    Their exquisite chocolate and wine-tasting event presents a thoughtfully curated collection of five meticulously handcrafted artisan chocolates, each flawlessly matched with a boutique wine from esteemed small-scale producers. With the guidance of their knowledgeable wine experts, you will embark on a sensory journey, uncovering the intricate flavours and captivating aromas that unite these pairings in perfect harmony. Prepare to be captivated as you encounter novel and exhilarating combinations that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you yearning for more.

    Sessions are an hour and cost R150 per person. You can make your booking here.

    Address: Eighteen13 Wine Shop & Tasting Room, Willow Avenue, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Contact: 0710023925 / [email protected]


    When it comes to whisky, the pairing possibilities with chocolate are endless. For a delightful combination, opt for a light, floral, and fruity whisky that harmonizes beautifully with milk chocolate. If you prefer a whisky style that is dark and rich, indulge in the smoothness of dark chocolate with a touch of dried fruits. And if you’re seeking an adventurous experience for your taste buds, try a maritime and complex whisky alongside salted caramel chocolate.

    Just like chocolate, whisky boasts a vast array of varieties and flavours to explore. Leroy Chiponda, the merchandiser at Dry Dock in Parkhurst, Joburg, recommends the award-winning Dalmore 15-year-old whisky, which undergoes a finishing process in a blend of sherry casks, including Amoroso and Matusalem Oloroso. This exceptional whisky pairs flawlessly with dark chocolate, creating an exquisite taste sensation.

    Alcohol and chocolate pairings in Johannesburg
    Picture: thechocolatetier / Instagram

    2. The Chocolate Tier

    The Nuts About Whiskey experience, facilitated by The Chocolate Tier’s expert Chocolate Tier, offers a captivating virtual experience at a one-time cost of R1600. Additionally, participants can purchase the virtual experience box for R510.

    During this Whiskey experience, participants will have the opportunity to explore whiskies they may have never tasted before or ones that are not yet part of their collection. With whiskey being immensely popular, The Chocolate Tier’s Chocolate and Whisk(e)y Pairings will showcase a diverse selection of five different whiskies from various countries, providing an engaging overview of the whisky world. The experience delves into topics such as history, production processes, tasting guidance, and flavour profiles. The lineup features a single malt, blended malt, blend, single pot still, and grain whisky, ensuring a comprehensive exploration.

    Pairing this age-old golden liquid with a selection of exotic raw and roasted tree nuts, participants will gain insights into the complementary taste profiles and discover why these combinations work so harmoniously together. Prepare for an enlightening journey into the world of whiskey and its perfect companionship with delectable nuts.

    You can make your booking here.

    Address: Eighteen13 Wine Shop & Tasting Room, Willow Avenue, Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa

    Contact: 0710023925 / [email protected]


    Undoubtedly, white chocolate stands as the most effortless chocolate pairing option for most gins.

    When skillfully combined, Gin embraces a captivating medley of botanical infusions, each presenting its distinct flavour nuances. White chocolate, with its versatility in richness, subtlety, and creaminess, boasts an abundant assortment of flavours and textures. The delicate essence of gin harmonizes exceptionally well with the intricate flavours of white chocolate, while the herbal notes of juniper introduce an additional layer of complexity to the mild white chocolate.

    Alcohol and chocolate pairings in Johannesburg
    Picture: Mirari Gin / Instagram

    3. Time Anchor Distillery 

    In the vibrant heart of Maboneng, the Tasting Room stands as a delightful haven for gin enthusiasts seeking an informative and enchanting tasting experience. This intimate space, adorned with a captivating floor meticulously adorned with 120 000 hand-laid 5c coins, and an alchemist’s shelf showcasing an array of glass-jarred gin botanicals, exudes an air of mysterious elegance and allure. It provides the perfect ambience to unwind and fully immerse oneself in the indulgent flavours of our carefully crafted gin.

    Within their Tasting Room, a range of meticulously curated Gin Tasting experiences awaits, catering to various preferences. From connoisseur tastings that delve deep into the intricate nuances of gin, to the unique gin and chocolate tastings where they proudly craft their own chocolates and the renowned gin Masterclasses, there is an experience to suit every gin lover.

    Led by their esteemed Master Distiller, their tastings follow a sit-down format, ensuring a well-presented and engaging session. To maintain an intimate atmosphere and provide an optimal experience for each participant, ticket availability is limited. It’s highly recommended to gather your friends and family and secure your bookings in advance to avoid disappointment. Embrace the opportunity to savour the delights of their Tasting Room and embark on a journey of gin exploration like no other.

    Please note that these tastings are offered on specific dates and occasions only, adding an element of exclusivity to the proceedings.

    Address: 7 Sivewright Avenue, New Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 2094

    Contact: [email protected] / 067 369 4842

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    Written by Tsoku Maela for Getaway.

    Feature image: Pexels