Cheese And Wine Pairing Tips From The Experts
Cheese is a beautiful thing. This richly flavoured and deliciously textured dairy product often takes part during the second or last course of the meal.
It is typically served as an accompaniment with bread, fruit, or honey, its various distinctive aromas and tastes are what make each one a dining experience that deserves its own attention.
You can make the most of it by selecting a wine that veers off course from the bottle served with the meal. But the right pairing will make it worth your while. You’re probably here because you’re curious to know just how to get that perfect cheese and wine pairing. Here are a few tips from the experts, as well as what it all means.
1. When In Doubt Go With A Nutty Cheese
This one is turning things on their head. Nothing is worse than opening your wine coolers during an important dinner and realizing that your cheese options probably don’t pair well with what you’ve got chilling. A nutty cheese is often the best bet to enjoy with a variety of different types of wine. Swiss cheese and Gruyere balance the tannin in red wine and can complement the delicate notes often present in white wines, making it a versatile option.
2. Find The Right Balance
You must balance the intensity of the cheese and wine to taste the unique flavor profile of each of them. A wine that is over 14.5 percent ABV usually tastes better with an equally or more intensely flavored cheese. Wines under 12 percent ABV have a milder flavor profile and pair nicely with more delicately flavored cheeses.
3. Aged Cheeses With Bold Red Wines
Aged cheeses have a higher fat content. This means that they pair well with the firm tannins in bold red wines.
4. ‘Funky’ Cheese Taste Better With Sweet Wine
A ‘funky’ cheese is best described as one that has a very distinctive, strong smell, which is hard to put into words; when it comes to cheeses, the stinkier, the better, especially when paired with the right type of wine. The trick here is to get a sweet wine. This will help balance the funkiness of these pungent types of cheeses. This gives you a creamier texture and sweeter taste from both the cheese and the wine.
5. Soft Cheeses With Sparkling Wine
Soft cheeses are mild and delicate, so they don’t pair well with a richly flavored wine. A delicate cheese is easily overpowered, and you can easily lose its flavor profile and texture. Sparkling wines have high acidity and carbonation, which elevates the flavor and texture of cheeses like Brie, Muenster, and Camembert.
6. Wine And Cheese From The Same Region
Typically an area will naturally adopt the food and wine they produce to compliment each other. This is the case for most of France as well as Spain, so you can’t go wrong.
What Does It All Mean?Tannins
Tannins are natural compounds that are found in an abundance of plants. The tannins found in grapes and wine are responsible for giving it its bitter or dry sensation. This causes your mouth to feel drier and rougher after a sip of red. There are more tannins in red wine than white, which is why it is harder to pair with many kinds of cheese. Aged cheeses work well when paired with these full-bodied wines.Intensity
Intensity is an important thing to keep in mind. You need to balance intensities. Pair intense wines with strongly flavored cheeses and less intense wines with a more delicately flavored cheese. This is how you achieve the perfect balance.
Sparkling wines have carbonation; they also have a higher acidic value. This means that they offer a palate-cleansing effect when it comes to creamy cheeses like Brie and Camembert.
Time To Experiment
The point of cheese and wine pairings is to find the right bottle of wine and the right type of cheese so that they don’t overpower each other. Things that may work for some don’t always work for others. Mix up the different types of cheese and wine you use with the guidelines given above and the descriptions of each, along with pairing advice, which is to follow. This way, you can discover a pairing that suits your personal preferences best.
- Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is acidic, with a crisp nature. For something that mirrors this acidity perfectly, go for a full of flavor goat’s cheese.
- Chardonnay: This wine tends to have a bright, crisp, and fresh taste. A smooth, mild cheese well compliments this style of chardonnay like ricotta or a brie.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: Described as a full-bodied wine, typically with dark fruit flavors and hints of black to bell pepper, cabernet sauvignon has a vast array of flavors. It is paired best with hard, aged cheese like gouda or cheddar. Both are agreeable.
- Syrah Or Shiraz: Wines like this have a really high level of tannins. This acts as a palate cleanser and perfect pairing for creamy and rich cheeses like a good quality Feta.
- Champagne: Champagne is one of the most well-known sparkling wines out there. It has a sharp, bubbly effervescence that sparkles through each sip. The bubbles enhance creamer options like Brie, making them feel even smoother and creamy with each mouthful.
- Prosecco: Prosecco can be quite sweet. This means that it pairs well with something like a parmesan that offers a tasty contrast between the two or a good Gorgonzola flavored.
Dessert Wines (Sweet Wines)
- Sauternesflavored: This sweet wine is from France. Its flavor profile is described as the tasting of apricots, peaches, and honey with a hint of nuttiness. It pairs well with pungent cheeses. You can go with blue cheese or a salty washed rind cheese like an epoisses cheese, which has a somewhat meaty flavor.
- Moscato: The sweetness of Moscato grapes goes well with the spice and zestiness of a good pepper jack.
There are many different types of cheese and wine combinations out there. Now that you know what goes well together, feel free to play around with what works for you.