choc pudChocolate cakes come in many guises – dark chocolate sponges, white chocolate chip muffins and high-cocoa content cake topped with melted Mars Bars. But come the final cake count there will be two important questions to answer: “Which cake to slice first?”, and “What wine will match all that chocolate?”.

That's a difficult one. Wine isn't a natural match to chocolate sponge and icing. Their mouth-coating intenseness can overwhelm many wines. Once the tongue has tasted anything really sweet it's difficult for it to identify subtler fruity flavours, like those found in wine. And should you prefer your cakes made from high cocoa-content dark chocolate then finding a suitable match will be all the harder – choose unwisely and both wine and cake will clash leaving behind an unpleasant metallic taste.

But there are wines that elevate both food and drink to the next level of taste experience.

choc and red wineDark chocolate cakes and gateaux harmonise wonderfully with wines made with the Cabernet Sauvignon grape and port. If buying both port and wine seems excessive then try Aldi’s Fletcher’s Fine Ruby Port (£5.79). This port smells and tastes like a cabernet sauvignon with a dash of brown sugar.

Milk chocolate topped sponges reduce the acidity of oaked whites making the resulting blend taste smooth and yoghurty.

Jam and liqueur fruit fillings need matching with equally rich wines: try Sherry, Marsala and Madeira. With higher alcohol content than normal, these Mediterranean wines taste naturally sweet and so your palate will taste both wine and fruit-filled chocolate cake equally well.

PG Wine Tips

£3.99 and under

There are still some good bottles to be found that cost the same as a couple of National Lottery tickets.

Aldi French Cotes du Rhone 2009


Not Cabernet Sauvignon but a good alternative: Grenache Noir and Syrah. This soft and fruity wine tastes of cherry Tunes and blackberry with a dash of liquorice. A better match to lighter chocolate cakes, perhaps a marble cake?

Chilano Chilean Signature Series Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

£3.99 Tesco (down from £4.49 until August 16th)

Sour cherry and milk chocolate flavours – rather like a liqueur choc. Yum.

Gran Tesoro Spanish Garnacha 2009

£4.29 Tesco

raspberryCherry, redcurrant and raspberry flavours with some cocoa stirred in.

£5.99 and under

There are a few fruity, slurpable wines among the forgettable masses.

Piccini Italian Chianti Riserva 2008

£5 Budgens/Londis (down from £10.29 until August 7th)

Chocolate raisin aroma with flavours of blackberry and plum.

Fairhills Fairtrade South African Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot

£5.79 Tesco (down from £7.79 until September 6th)

Many red South African wines seem to be tinged with a burnt tasting edge, and this wine is no exception. But it is tempered with blackcurrants, plums and violets. Rough and floral.

Fletcher’s Fine Ruby Port

£5.79 Aldi

Great value when you consider the Asda equivalent is £6.32 and a posh brand like Cockburns is £9.49. Quaffable blackberry and brown sugar flavours.

nose in glassTry sniffing and slurping these whites to see whether you like them.

BBC 2 logoPretending to be Jilly Goolden, of BBC2's long running Food and Drink programme, while swirling and sniffing the contents of each wine glass is half the fun of wine appreciation. But sometimes, I admit it, I need help identifying a wine’s aromas. Just because someone tells you they smell and taste wines for a living it doesn’t make their judgement infallible.

Da Luca MerlotTo compete with the smoky tangs of barbecued food you need robustly-flavoured red wines. Match this weekend's burnt offerings to these four cherry and plum tasting blends from Tesco.