What to pair with XimenezChocolate and wine are notoriously difficult to pair together. While many people try with a red wine like a Pinot Noir or a Cabernet Sauvignon, these with chocolate are a match made in foodie hell. Chocolate gives you a richness on the palate, some fattiness and sweetness, but a dry red wine takes all the fat and sweetness away leaving a sour flavour. Plus, the chocolate will mean you can’t taste the fruity flavours in the wine. Instead, the key is to pair sweetness with sweetness when it comes to chocolate. Vintage Port and Madeira from Portugal is one option, but a better one is a Ximenez which brings out the natural sweetness of the chocolate, while also cleansing your palate so you’re ready to enjoy your next cocoa-infused bite. Go for a young version of Ximenez for a rich chocolate dessert like a fondant or a brownie. Younger PXs also partner well with sweet pancakes or, if you’re more of a cheese board fiend than a dessert fan, with cheeses infused with herbs, spices or chilli. If you prefer desserts which aren’t so in-your-face as pure chocolate puddings, then look for older PX. The syrupy flavours will complement those of a crème brulee, a cheesecake or a panna cotta. It is also perfect for those who love their cheese blue, blue, blue. Ximenez is also the ideal store cupboard staple if you have the sort of friends or family who tend to drop in unexpectedly. All you need is some ice cream and a drizzle of Ximenez over the top. Keep a tub of vanilla or rum n raisin in the freezer and a bottle of Ximenez in the cupboard and you’re sorted; you can create a spectacular dessert in a minute. Or, you could just curl up on the sofa with a square of dark chocolate and a glass of Ximenez. Perfect.