Mastering the art of pairing wine and cheese isn’t as daunting as it seems. The basic rule of wine and food pairing applies with cheeses as well. Consider complementary or contrasting flavors. Acidic wine cuts sweetness, while a lush wine works well with a triple-cream cheese. Most experts agree white wine pairs better with cheese, although there are reds that complement well.
Taste Test: Taste a piece of cheese alone, then another with a taste of wine. How do they mingle?
To simplify, we have broken them down into four categories:
Fresh: These cheeses are not typically aged. They are tangy or mild, soft and often spreadable.
- Ricotta, Mozzarella, Goat, Feta
- Pairs best with: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc
Hard: Stiff Cheese. Sometimes aged, they are often sharp, salty or a combination of both.
- Cheddar, Parmesan, Pecorino, Gruyere, Fontina
- Pairs best with Merlot, Chianti, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc
Blue: Blue tinged, pungent and often salty
- Gorgonzola, Stilton, Blue
- Pairs best with Port, Sauternes, late-harvest Chenin Blanc and Riesling
Bloomy: Creamy and decadent with a soft rind
- Brie, Camembert, Taleggio
- Pairs best with Chardonnay, Champagne, Sparkling and Pinot Blanc
As with everything food and wine, the above are only examples, suggestions and guidelines. As you experiment, you will find combinations and flavors that work best with your palate. The possibilities are endless. We look forward to hearing what works best for you!
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