Pairing Cheese with Wine

wine-and-cheeseWine and cheese pairing can be a bit of a love-hate relationship – the mouth-coating texture of cheese can help soften the taste of wine and make it more pleasant, but it can also mask a delicate wine’s flavour and texture. A great place to start from is to match cheese with wines from the same region! This makes sense as wine and cheese pairing is most likely to have evolved together in the region as part of its culture, therefore the combination would have been refined and perfected over many years.

Many cheeses are too strong for matured red wines, being too pungent or greasy textured and covers up the wines’ personalities. Sweet wines including fortified are however often considered to match perfectly with strong-flavoured and textured cheeses. The sweetness in the dessert wines combines with the savoury and salty nature of cheeses without being overwhelmed, which many people find enjoyable.

Firstly preparation. An ideal tasting location will have good lighting and minimal odour to help you taste without being influenced by other factors. Find yourself a decent glass with a large, rounded bowl that you can swirl your wine comfortably in.

Soft and Creamy Cheeses

(eg. Camembert and Brie) mild in flavours are commonly paired with delicate white wines such as Sparkling wine, Chardonnay and Aromatic whites. A soft, delicate fruity red such as Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir can be an excellent combination too.

Fresh Cheeses

Often flavoursome and tangy with different types of texture, great pairing examples include Mozzarella and Goats cheese with dry white such as Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Hard Cheeses

Cheeses such as Gouda, Cheddar and Parmesan are commonly paired with red wines with supple and silky tannins, which match extremely well with the sharp and salty flavours of hard cheeses.

Blue Cheeses

Commonly paired with dessert wines, as the very salty and sharp sensations characteristic of blue cheeses can be too overpowering. Sweet and luscious wines have the texture and flavour to counteract with the strong flavour, some great options include Port, Late-harvest Riesling and Sauternes. A very intense, full-bodied and fruit-driven Red can also be a winner with blue cheese!