Add To Your Cheese And Wine Pairings
Round out your cheese platter by adding these snacking essentials:
- Bread & Crackers Serve bread, crostini, or crackers with your cheese, especially if you are serving soft or bloomy cheeses.
- Charcuterie If youre not familiar with the term, it refers to a selection of smoked or dry-cured meats. Popular charcuterie options include capicola, chorizo, prosciutto, salami, and pepperoni.
- Fruit Pears, grapes, apples, melon, and dried fruits are perfect side snacks for cheese and wine.
- Condiments Choose one or two of the following to add additional bursts of flavor: honey, fruit preserves, pepper jelly, Dijon mustard, or balsamic glaze.
- Extras Dark chocolate, walnuts, almonds, or a selection of olives can also be added to your plate.
If you still have questions or want to try something new, visit The Markets at Shrewsbury to talk with our cheese experts at Country Style Deli.
Sweetness In Contrast To Salt
Very salty and complex cheeses, such as blue cheeses, are generally served with sweet condiments. You may have noticed that orange marmalade, figs and raisins often accompany these types of cheeses. And you can also serve a wine with these same raisin and nutty aromas.
In general, sweet wines are ideal with blue cheeses, because the sweetness embraces the saltiness and tones down the slightly rancid mouldy taste.
Late harvest wines, with the high sugar content in the grapes, go particularly well with blue cheese. Try, for instance, a French Sauternes or German Spätlese or even better, a bold, sweet and complex Auslese or Trockenbeerenauslese from Germany. The prices may be high, but then so is the experience. And if can you get hold of one, a genuine Eiswein is also worth a try.
Actual dessert wines especially if they have notes of dried fruit also pair very well with blue cheese.
Aged Port And Blue Stilton
Why it works:Port is known for its full body, sweetness, and bold character. And when youre dealing with all that, you need a cheese to match: something stinky. The complex character of a pungent and salty Blue Stilton matches up beautifully with an older, sweeter Port. Remember: the sweeter the wine, the stinkier the cheese.
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Start With Your Favorite Cheese
Start building your wine and cheese pairing by selecting your cheese. To keep things simple, choose 3-4 types of cheese and include 2-3 oz. of each type. Include selections from each cheese category:
- Soft, Fresh Cheese Types of soft cheese include mozzarella, burrata, feta, goat, brie, and Camembert. Cheeses like Brie and Camembert may also be referred to as bloomy cheeses.
- Semi-Hard Cheese Havarti, Gruyere, young cheddar, Monterey Jack, and Manchego are popular types of semi-hard cheese.
- Blue Cheese Although not everyone is a fan of blue cheeses, Stilton, Gorgonzola, and Roquefort are a few of the widely accepted types.
- Hard, Aged Cheese Popular hard cheeses include aged cheddar, aged Gruyere, Pecorino, Asiago, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Mac And Cheese Wine Pairing
If you need a great mac and cheese wine pairing, youâll do right with a Chenin Blanc, Riesling, or unoaked Chardonnay. This classic dish is a crossroads of creamy and tangy, meaning it needs these zippy types of white wine to balance it out.
Chenin Blanc is a medium-dry white wine that pairs well with mac and cheese. The wine works to cut through thick, cheesy recipes, while the bubbles amplify the soft texture of the macaroni.
Riesling is more fruity and floral, offering stronger peach, lemon, and pineapple tastes. Similar to Chenin Blanc, itâs a dry white with plenty of acidity and a light body. This is a natural counterpoint to the melt-in-your-mouth characteristics of fresh mac and cheese.
Chardonnay–a white wine with medium tannin levels and full-body–offers tropical fruit flavors for your mac and cheese dish. Taking sips of mango-, pineapple-, and papaya-flavored wine between tart bites of creamy pasta is an excellent way to enjoy the evening.
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Cabernet Sauvignon And Aged Cheddar
Why it works: A bigger, bolder cheese needs a wine that can lift it up, spin it around, and not get winded in the process. An aged Cheddar has a fattiness that matches up wonderfully with the mouth-drying tannins youll find in many Cabernet Sauvignons. Plus, their respectively bold flavors will match, instead of one drowning out the other.
Tips For Pairing With Blue Cheese
The wine and cheese combinations that weve highlighted in this post can all be delicious. And, of course, many other combinations can work well too. In the end, pairing wine and cheese is partly an art form and is influenced by your own personal preferences. Youll need to experiment to work out which combinations are best for you.
As such, the combinations weve talked about are best seen as a starting point, rather than a comprehensive list.
When youre finding new pairings for yourself, begin by thinking about the cheese. While blue cheese all have a familiar tang to them, they can also be vastly different than one another. Some have an almost overwhelming and very strong flavor, while for others the flavor is much more subtle. There can be texture differences too, as cheeses like blue brie can be very creamy, while other types of blue cheese may not be.
The intensity of the flavor matters the most when youre pairing with wine. The stronger and funkier the cheese is, the more interesting and complex the wine needs to be. Sweet wines are always a good choice, but as youve seen from this list, other types of wine can work well too.
Even if youre veering away from sweet wines, its still worth looking for wines with a little sweetness or fruitiness to them. This aspect helps to balance out the funkiness of the blue cheese.
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Expert Tips To Always Keep In Mind
There are probably as many types of cheeses as there are wines. If youve never paired wine and cheese, its important to keep a few guidelines in mind. Dont assume that any cheese will pair well with any wine. With tannin levels in the wine, fat levels in the cheese and the way the cheese is prepared, some wines could create a bland, bitter experience.
It’s The End Of The Meal But Not The End Of The Story
Et bien. So, youve learned about pairing wines with appetizers and main courses. Now, save room for my favorite part of a mealdessert. This can celebrated with either a savory cheese plate, or a sweet dessert. Luckily, both pair beautifully with many different wines.
Sometimes a dessert wine is dessert. For apple and other fruit pies and tarts, try a late-harvest Riesling or a demi-sec sparkling wine. A Sauternes, Tokaji or vin santo might aid and abet your sweet tooth, especially with berries. For melon, Muscat is great, especially Muscat Beaumes-de-Venise. I dont fancy wine with other fresh fruits or with ice cream. For creams, custards and puddings, many dessert wines work well, from demi-sec sparkling wines to late-harvest Riesling, Muscat and various ice wines. Those options go for cakes and cookies, as would Sauternes, vin santo and Malvasia di Lipari. Finally there is chocolate. If you are going to have chocolate for dessert, you really have to decide whether the mouth-filling sweet isnt enough by itself. If not, try a vin santo or a Sauternes, a sweet sherry, perhaps a Tokay or Muscat liqueur. And some people like Cabernet Sauvignon. If your last course was with a full-bodied red, you could do worse than to savor the last drops with chocolate.
The Gentle Order of Things
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One Wine To Rule Them All
It’s fun to open a range of bottles to sample with your cheese assortment, but if you must pour a single wine with a mixed plate of cheeses, try Riesling, especially off-dry. The wine is low in alcohol, but its acidity, sweetness, tropical fruits, and mineral backbone let it partner broadly. Alsatian Gewürztraminer is another great choice. It’s dry with a delicate body, but its floral aromas will waft ethereally above the savory notes of all of the cheeses.
Sparkling wines, from dry to sweet, almost always work well, too. Their ample acidity and toasty, nutty flavors complement cheeses from fresh through aged. A mixed plate of cheeses is a great excuse to open another bottle of Champagneas if you needed one.
Pairing Wine With Cheese
Wine and cheese is a glorious combination and one we think should be celebrated all the time! But with so many varieties of cheese and wine out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. To simplify proceedings, weve grouped everyones favourite cheeses into key categories and come up with a few classic must-try pairings, along with some handy tips on why these pairings work.
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Wine And Cheese Pairings
Whether youâre a professional chef, sommelier, or simply a wine enthusiast, wine and cheese pairings are a must. This is a centuries-long culinary treat that
Due to the complexity of wine flavors, itâs wise to treat each pairing differently. A steak wine pairing, wine pairing with chicken, turkey wine pairing, and wine pairing with salmon are all different for the same reason.
Wines are produced in different terroirs, which refers to the geographic location and climate the grapes are grown in. Individual climates influence the final taste of wine, and which cheese it matches with. Below youâll find our recommendations for wine and cheese pairings across several varieties.
The 10 Best Wine With Cheese Combinations
Im generally of the opinion that as long as there is a glass of wine in my hand, any cheese to enjoy alongside it is welcome. However, you can put a bit more effort into choosing the best wine with cheese combinations. By doing the right research, and knowing what your palate likes from a food and drink pairing perspective, you can find the ideal mix of taste profiles to match items perfectly, enhancing the flavor and complexity of each when put together.
The following best wine with cheese combinations creates a simple to remember guide for you when considering what to purchase and provides some examples for you to draw on when making a pairing decision.
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Chateau D’esclans Rock Angel Rose 2019
This Chateau dEsclans bottle offers the aroma and flavor of summer fruits, strawberry, and grapefruit balanced by crisp acidity, and the accent of minerals. Rock Angel is a bold sweet wine to explore, especially if you wish to pair your rose with a wide-ranging dinner menu or delicate cheese platter.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve & Pinot Noir
This specialty, award-winning Wisconsin farmstead cheese has aged 9-12 months and is absolutely divine with medium-bodied wines like pinot noir. However, Werlin says that this cheese can even pair well with the right white wines, like pinot blanc or Riesling. “The nutty, brown buttery and grassy flavors in the cheese marry well with aromatic fruity whites,” says Werlin, “Together, it makes you think of green pastures filled with spring flowers. Red wine takes the experience into fall or winter when those same characteristics in the cheese are made a bit earthier and savory because of the dark berry and forest-like characteristics in the wine.”
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Poisses Cheese Wine Pairing
Looking for a few Ãpoisses cheese wine pairing ideas? Youâre covered with a Lambrusco, Beaujolais, St. Laurent, or Barbera. Ãpoisses is a pasty, almost liquidy cheese thatâs made from raw cowâs milk. Due to its soft consistency, it lets off a strong smell that makes it a better fit for specific wines.
Lambrusco works well because of its abundant fruit flavors, like mandarin orange, watermelon, and cherry. This sparkling red wine has lower wine alcohol content and offers sensory relief from this intense cheese.
Beaujolais and Barbera both have prominent red fruit tastes, like cranberry, raspberry, currant, and strawberry. With sweet fruit flavors front and center, your palate will be refreshed between bites of Ãpoissesâ strong taste.
If you want a surefire fit, St. Laurent is a great selection. This dry red wine is similar to Pinot Noir, offering cherry, anise, and blackberry elements. Similarly to the other wines, a strong fruit base combined with smoky and spicy undertones cuts through the thick, pasty presence of Ãpoisses.
Pinot Grigio/pinot Gris Camembert Brie Or Castellano Blue
Wine fermented from the pinot gris features the boldness, acidity, and structure that makes for a great cheese pairing.
Pinot grigio is the perfect wine for a cheese platter of sweet, soft, and mild creamy cheese, such as camembert, brie, or even Castellano blue. When paired with sharp or stronger aged cheese, its structure tends to get lost.
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Food And Wine Pairings With Cheese And Charcuterie
Nat and Cody Gantz 2019
Cheese boards and lovely meat slices are ubiquitous: however that doesnt mean that they are any less delicious. Many wines go well with some but some really excel as pairings. Having written a cheese-pairing guide, which helped me understand how delicious so many whites can be with cheeses I wanted to reach out for greater insight on this topic.
So I sat down with Jason Cooper, the owner the Velvet 48, a wine bar in Burlingame, just south of the City of San Francisco. All responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.
Liza B. Zimmerman : What wines pair best with meats and cheeses?
Jason Cooper : The beauty of cheese and charcuterie is that they work with a lot of different wines. As a general rule of thumb, however, it’s probably better to avoid the extremes of high tannins, acid or sweetness but there are no absolute rules.
Some good middle of the road wines include: Pinot Noir, whether from its home in Burgundy, France or from Sonomas Russian River Valley or the Willamette in Oregon it tends to have a good balance of fruit, acid and tannin so its a naturally good pairing with charcuterie and a variety of other foods.
Chardonnay, which is also making its way from Burgundy, France is a great choice. However, it is best to stick to cooler climatessuch as Burgundyor Sonoma. Warmer places like Napa Valley run the risk of being overly fruity or oaky.
Manchego Cheese And Wine Pairing
Need a suitable Manchego cheese and wine pairing? Youâre in good shape with a Rioja, Cava, or Verdejo. Manchego is a rich, crumbly cheese thatâs known for its grassy, zesty flavor. As such, it needs an equally intense wine to stretch out its flavor profile.
Rioja is similar to Merlot with its chokeberry, elderberry, and cherry flavors, plus high tannin and acidity levels. One may think that such a strong wine would overpower the cheeseâs characteristics, but in this case, it allows Manchegoâs tartness to shine through.
On the lighter side, Cava wine makes a good pair with its almond and lemony tastes. This sparkling white or rosÃ© is a lighter-bodied, low calorie wine and offers potent citrus notes that amplify the cheeseâs existing taste.
Verdejo is another light and crisp wine that offers a fennel, peach, and grassy taste. Normally, flavors like this may be too strong for a cheese-centered meal, but in this case, they accentuate Manchegoâs zesty characteristics.
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Perfect Wine And Cheese Pairings
Wine and cheese have gone hand in hand for centuries, but with todays ever-increasing options for both wines and cheeses, the pairing decisions can be staggering. So, to take a lot of the guesswork out of pairing here is a handy guide to give you a starting point for pairing your favorite wines with soon-to-be favored cheese.
How To Pick The Right Cheeses To Suit Your Wine
Preparing the perfect cheese board for your wine can be a challenge when there are so many incredible varieties from fresh cheeses like feta and hard cheese like Monterey Jack to washed-rind stinkers like Epoisses and blue cheese like Roquefort.
If youre thinking about serving a variety of cheeses with a single wine, focus on the acidity. Light, citrusy wines like Riesling are flexible and pair well with most cheeses, whether its delicate ricotta or sharp blue. Sparkling wines also fit the bill. The effervescent bubbles of Champagne, Cava or Brut wines cut through the buttery fat of cheese to minimize the clash of mismatching flavors while cleansing your palate.
Its not easy to find a single wine that will match all cheeses, so consider serving a specific cheese with each wine. Heres a brief rundown of the main cheese types and which types of wine pair best with them.
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Syrah/shiraz And Aged Cheese
Aged cheese has intense savory flavors. Wines that are paired with them need to be equally intense and should also be rather dry. Syrah holds up well in this pairing because it is dry, medium to full-bodied, and has dark fruit and herb flavors. A Shiraz with tobacco notes works particularly well with smoked cheeses.