One of the most common questions a sommelier get asked is how to pair wine with different types of cheese. Cheese and wine are a classic combination, but getting the pairing right can be tricky. The right pairing can enhance the flavor of both the wine and cheese, while a wrong pairing can result in a less-than-pleasant taste experience.
In This Article
- Key Takeaways
- Basic Principles Of Wine And Cheese Pairing
- Cheese Types And Their Ideal Wine Pairings
- Match the intensity of the cheese with the intensity of the wine.
- Consider the acidity of the wine when pairing with creamy cheeses.
- Light-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc pair well with mild cheeses like goat cheese, while full-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay pair well with creamier cheeses like triple cream brie.
- Full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon pair well with hard, aged cheeses like cheddar and Parmesan, while lighter red wines such as Pinot Noir pair well with milder cheeses like gouda and havarti.
- Sparkling wines like Champagne or Prosecco pair well with salty, nutty cheeses like aged gouda and Parmesan.
- Fortified wines like Port and Sherry pair well with blue cheeses like Roquefort and Stilton.
- Offer a variety of cheeses and wines at a party and serve cheese at room temperature.
- Avoid common mistakes such as pairing a tannic wine with a delicate cheese, pairing a sweet wine with a strong cheese, and pairing an acidic wine with a tangy cheese.
Remember, pairing wine and cheese is all about experimentation and finding what works best for your palate. With these basic principles in mind, you can confidently try out different pairings and discover your own favorites.
Basic Principles Of Wine And Cheese Pairing
The general rule of thumb when it comes to wine and cheese pairing is to match the intensity of the cheese with the intensity of the wine. For example, a light-bodied wine pairs well with a mild cheese, while a full-bodied wine pairs well with a strong cheese. Another important consideration is the acidity of the wine. Wines with higher acidity can cut through the richness of cheese, making them a good match for creamy cheeses.
White Wines To Pair With Cheese
White wines are a popular choice for pairing with cheese, particularly with lighter cheeses such as goat cheese, brie, and camembert. A crisp, dry white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio pairs well with these cheeses, as the acidity helps to balance the creaminess. For richer, creamier cheeses such as triple cream brie, a full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay is a good match.
Red Wines To Pair With Cheese
Red wines are another popular choice for pairing with cheese, particularly with hard, aged cheeses such as cheddar and Parmesan. A full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot pairs well with these cheeses, as the tannins help to cut through the richness. For softer, milder cheeses such as gouda and havarti, a lighter red wine such as Pinot Noir is a good match.
Sparkling Wines To Pair With Cheese
Sparkling wines are a great choice for pairing with cheese, particularly with salty, nutty cheeses such as aged gouda and Parmesan. The bubbles in the wine help to cleanse the palate and refresh the taste buds. A dry sparkling wine such as Champagne or Prosecco pairs well with these cheeses, as the acidity helps to cut through the saltiness.
Fortified Wines To Pair With Cheese
Fortified wines such as Port and Sherry are another popular choice for pairing with cheese, particularly with blue cheeses such as Roquefort and Stilton. The sweetness of the wine helps to balance the saltiness of the cheese. A tawny port pairs well with aged cheddar, while a ruby port is a good match for blue cheese.
Cheese Types And Their Ideal Wine Pairings
Different types of cheese require different wine pairings. Here are some recommendations for popular cheese types:
- Soft cheeses: Pair with light-bodied white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chenin Blanc.
- Hard cheeses: Pair with full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.
- Blue cheeses: Pair with sweet fortified wines such as Port or Sherry.
- Aged cheeses: Pair with full-bodied white wines such as Chardonnay or aged red wines such as Bordeaux.
Tips For Serving Wine And Cheese At A Party
If you’re serving wine and cheese at a party, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, offer a variety of cheeses and wines to cater to different tastes. Second, serve the cheese at room temperature to bring out the full flavor. Finally, provide some crackers or bread to cleanse the palate between tastings.
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Pairing Wine And Cheese
While pairing wine and cheese may seem simple enough, there are some common mistakes to avoid. Here are a few:
- Pairing a wine that is too tannic with a delicate cheese. This can result in a bitter taste that overpowers the cheese.
- Pairing a wine that is too sweet with a strong cheese. This can result in an overly sweet taste that masks the flavor of the cheese.
- Pairing a wine that is too acidic with a tangy cheese. This can result in an unpleasant sour taste.
Pairing wine with different types of cheese is a fun and delicious way to elevate your tasting experience. Remember to match the intensity of the cheese with the intensity of the wine, and to consider the acidity of the wine. With these principles in mind, you can confidently pair wines with a variety of cheeses and impress your guests at your next party. Cheers!
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Antonio Rossi is an experienced Chef from one of the world's most beautiful places, Sicily, Italy. Chef Antonio spent plenty of his childhood with his granny in the kitchen, and that's how he discovered his love and passion for food. Chef Antonio worked in some of the most awarded restaurants and hotels in London, Paris and New York. Chef Antonio is committed to sharing his easy & quick recipes with you to help you get a beautiful approach to gastronomy.