Created by human observation, wit and ingenuity, cheese and wine are those two amazing things which show what comes out if the Nature and the Man work together. Despite the fact that both wine and cheese seem absolutely self-sufficient at first sight, for centuries they have been a classic gastronomic combination. It is noteworthy, that the two products have a similar set of characteristics, including age, texture, as well as many flavor and taste features. Considering them helps to find the best wine and cheese pairings which will become the gourmet highlights of any party.
Although there are no universal rules to identify precisely what cheese goes with wine perfectly, cheese and wine pairing is not just a matter of personal taste. There are several useful tips worth paying attention to when you choose cheese for wine or vice versa. The main tip is to match acidity in a right way. Creamy and buttery cheeses should pair with smooth and mellow wines, while tangier cheeses match to tarter wines. Cheeses with high acidity contrast well to sweet wines, whereas wines with high acidity are finely complemented by salted cheeses. The other important thing is the strength of wine: the stronger the wine, the sharper the cheese should be served. One more rather common pattern to pair good cheese with wine of a certain varietal is to choose these two products from one region of origin. Manufactured under the same natural and climate conditions, both the cheese and wine should have complementary qualities and properties.
Although it is believed that whites match different cheeses better than reds, nothing bans to experiment and pair the types of the world’ s best cheese with red wine, and find fabulous combinations.
Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Pairings
This is a full-bodied and rich-flavored red wine, rather assertive and tannic, with a fine blackberry tint. Cabernet Sauvignon food pairing includes meat dishes and mostly hard cheeses, such as Asiago, Cheddar, Manchego, Parmesan and Pecorino.
Malbec Wine Pairings
Malbec is a soft wine with a berry and rather spicy touch, though its flavor characteristics greatly depend on the region where it is produced. It pairs well with Asiago, Manchego, Mimolette and Taleggio.
Merlot Wine Pairings
Pinot Noir Wine Pairings
Light and delicate, with a slight berry smack, this is one of the noblest and the most versatile wines. It is great with meat, poultry and vegetable dishes. Pinot Noir cheese pairing varies from Brie and Epoisses to Gouda and Gruyere.
Syrah/Shiraz Wine Pairings
Syrah or Shiraz, as it is called in Australia, is a spicy wine with a large diversity of berry, meaty and peppery flavors. It goes well with smoky and rather sharp cheeses, such as Edam, Gouda or St. Nectaire.
Whites are generally considered a better company for a wide range of cheeses. Due to their natural qualities, white wines almost never can overpower cheese odor and taste, but complement them harmoniously.
Chardonnay Wine Pairings
Chardonnay is a dry white wine with rich creamy and nutty flavor, sometimes with apple or citrus hints. It is one of the most versatile wines and matches well both hard and soft cheeses, varying from Gruyere and Cheddar to Brie and Camembert.
Muscat Wine Pairings
Pinot Grigio Wine Pairings
This is an aromatic dry light white with a fruity bouquet of scents and an acid zest. Pinot Grigio food pairing is quite diverse, including Thai and Chinese dishes. It is ideal for soft cheeses with Mozzarella, Ricotta and Fontina among them.
Riesling Wine Pairings
Riesling is a noble classic light-bodied white wine. Its taste gets richer with age, revealing citrus, apricot and peach notes. The wine shines well with hard Gouda or Edam and soft Cotija or Mascarpone cheeses.
Sauvignon Blanc Wine Pairings
Sauvignon Blanc is a dry white wine which possesses rich aromas and fresh tastes of herbs and fruits, harmoniously combined with delicate acidity and minerality. The wine’s crispy and refreshing character is perfectly highlighted by creamy bloomy-rind goat cheeses as well as by Brie De Meaux, Cambozola or Feta.
Rosé is a classic pink wine. It is produced when red grapes skins contact with the juice for a short period of time (2 or 3 days).
Grenache Rosé Wine Pairings
Provence Rosé Wine Pairings
Provence rosé serves perfectly both as an aperitif and a partner for your meal. This is a fresh wine with a strawberry tint and tangy aftertaste, pairing well with goat cheeses.
Tavel Rosé Wine Pairings
Tavel rosé is drier than other rosé wines and resembles a red in its texture and character. It is believed to be the favorite wine of Ernest Hemingway. With age its taste turns from fruity to rather nuttier. Tavel rosé shines with goat and sheep cheeses.
Sparkling wine is a fizzy wine with crispy bubbles which help the drink to create a light festive atmosphere. During the wine making process, the reaction between sugar and yeast gives alcohol and carbon dioxide. The resulting gas is kept to provide effervescence. The tradition claims that sparkling wines pair beautifully with fatty and creamy crème cheeses, when the wine acidity balances the dense texture of the cheese.
Spanish Cava is a fine refreshing sparkling wine with amply and bright scents of citrus and apples. It matches well with soft and creamy goat cheeses. This is a versatile beverage which enhances perfectly the flavors of meat, fish and pastas as well.
Though being the most popular sparkling wine type worldwide, officially it is produced only in the Champagne region of France. This is a complex drink with a wide diversity of floral or fruity odors and tastes. Champagnes shine with Brie, Camembert and soft goat cheeses, as well as greatly accompany any meal.
This is a dry white sparkling wine originating from Italy. Proseccos differ in sweetness, but they all feature light citrus and floral flavors, and coarse bubbles. The beverage pairs with soft cheeses such as Fontina, Mozzarella, Ricotta, including the cheeses soaked in the Prosecco wine itself, like Ubriaco. With its cleansing fresh qualities this is a fine wine to have at the beginning of the party.