A Serious Cheat Sheet for a Serious Wine and Cheese Pairing

A Serious Cheat Sheet for a Serious Wine and Cheese Pairing

Wine and cheese go together like coffee and cream, but with so much to choose from it can be difficult to find the perfect combination. There are a few things you should consider when shopping for your selection, whether you are hosting a dinner party or simply enjoying at home.

 

wine and cheese pairing

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Match Age and Intensity

Like humans, wine and cheese are generally more complex with age, and as you may be able to guess, strong flavors enjoy the company of other strong flavors. When pairing rich and full-bodied red wines, look for aged cheeses with nutty and savory notes. Young, juicy and fresh wines like dry rosé or sparkling wines go  best with young cheeses.

The 5 Major Cheese Groups

When it comes to cheese, there are five major categories you should know. Each has its own unique characteristics and varies in complexity. The main types of cheese include:

Fresh and soft: mozzarella, feta, Brillat-Savarin, Crottin, ricotta

Medium aged, semi-hard: Edam, Manchego, young cheddar, Havarti, Monterey jack

Stinky: Morbier, Epoisses, Taleggio

Blue cheese: Stilton, Bleu d’Auvergne, Stilton, Gorgonzola, Cambozola

Hard-aged: aged cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago, aged Gouda, Cheshire

Principle Pairs

Each type of cheese is likely to pair well with a specific set of wines. It may be a good idea to have a few wines on hand if you are serving to guests so they can choose their favorite pairing. Keep in mind every wine and cheese has its own flavor properties, so give these pairs a test before you serve:

Fresh and soft: Riesling, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, White Port, Cava

Medium aged, semi-hard: Chardonnay, white Bordeaux, Dolcetto, Champagne, Merlot

Stinky: red Burgundy, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Sauternes, Gewürztraminer

Blue cheese: Tawny port, Tokaji, Sauternes, Banyuls, Oloroso sherry

Hard-aged: Madeira, vintage Champagne, Nebbiolo, aged white Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon

Remember, pairing wine and cheese is an extremely subjective art, so don’t worry if a dinner guest doesn’t rave over your favorite pair. Instead, relax and enjoy the wonderful party and pairs you have put together!

 

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