Wine and Cheese Pairings

Wine and Cheese Pairings

A Simple Guide to Pairings

Wine and cheese have been paired together for centuries and go hand in hand like peas and carrots. When thinking of pairing it can be extremely overwhelming simply based on the sheer amount of combinations to choose from. If you’ve ever been stuck in a daze looking at the cheese section for what to pair with that bottle of cabernet, look no further. We’ve picked eight popular wines and selected various cheeses that pair perfectly with them

Here are some tips to help you narrow down your choices:

Pairing typically comes down to personal preference, however, there are a few basic steps to follow when deciding on a perfect pair. The most rudimentary rule when pairing is to match like with like. Bolder cheeses pair best with a stronger wine as mild cheeses pair best with lighter.

One way to find your specific preference is to go to a tasting event at a winery. Some wineries offer pairing events which are perfect for anyone looking to find their pairing preference. Another idea is to head to a gourmet cheese store and ask for their recommendations on any pairings. At the end of the day no matter how many suggestions you get, it’s up to you to decide what pairings go best with your specific tastes.

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Below are some of my favorite wines with a few suggested kinds of cheese to go with them:

Chardonnay: It’s no surprise that chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular wines, and often referred to as America’s favorite. The rich texture and high acidity help it to be the perfect go-to wine for any cheese lover. This French white pairs best with brie or other low-intensity cheeses. Try pairing goat cheese with your next bottle. The creaminess will go perfectly with the citrusy taste of chardonnay.

Pinot Grigio: We find that this can be enjoyed when paired with fresh mozzarella, Humboldt Fog chevre, or garrotxa, an earthy firm textured goat cheese from Catalonia. These washed rind cheeses perfectly pair with pinot grigio, having high acidity and a spicy, sweet, honey-like flavor.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Since this wine has a long finish, cheeses having complex flavors will be able to stand out against it. Of all pairings for this wine, aged cheddars are the best pairing.

Pinot Noir: A nice pairing with light red wines like pinot noir would certainly be delicately flavored, washed, rind cheeses as well as nutty, medium-firm cheeses. Gruyere is the perfect match being a nutty cheese while taleggio matches as a great example for a semi-soft, washed rind. Some other favorites for pinot noir would include feta, monterey jack, muenster, swiss or brie.

Zinfandel: A rich, dense cheese pairs best with the bold, spicy blackberry flavors of this wine. Aged and flavored cheeses such as pepato, gruyere, gouda, asiago, muenster or blue cheese are all excellent choices.

Tempranillo: Delivering contrasting flavors of leather and cherries, the best pairings of cheeses with this Spanish red consist of hearty, semi-firm, and aged cheese such as gouda - one of the few that pairs well with many red wines. Others of the same age and style include cheddar, aged manchego, or pecorino - each being a cow, goat, or sheep milk cheese.

Merlot: As just mentioned, another red like tempranillo, merlot goes very well with gouda being one of the world’s most popular cheeses from the Netherlands. Gouda and merlot both have a low acidity level, so they are perfect to pair together. The red, fruity flavor of merlot also pairs very well with gorgonzola, brie, jarlsberg or parmesan.

Rosé: When choosing which cheese to pair with this highly acidic, fruitful wine, look for something that is equally as pungent as well as a bit fruity. The best pairing is goat cheese which has an acidic, tangy flavor which always pairs well with bright, acidic wines. I also recommend other tangy and rich cheeses such as feta and rocchetta.

Grab a wine rack to organize and store your wine with style on your countertop, fridge or wall.

Mike Freiberg is a Digital Marketing Specialist at mDesign
and an avid skateboarder and has even been a stunt double in a feature film.

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Posted: Jul 25, 2019