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Few things make us as happy as good cheese and good wine. Serve them together and that happiness quickly turns to joy if you have the right pairing of cheese and wine!
Some of the most famous types of cheese are made throughout Europe, and many are made near equally famous wine regions. Because cheesemakers are drinking their local wine and winemakers are eating their local cheeses, natural affinities have grown over time. The old culinary adage of “what grows together, goes together” becomes very evident when you explore the world of cheese with an understanding of some of their neighboring wine regions and the wines they are producing. As cheese and wine both have evolved, we now have more opportunities to try new things more so than ever before. Read through to learn more about pairing wine and cheese for your next party or gathering.
In general, softer cheeses like Brie or Boursin work well with high acid white wines, or with red wines like Pinot Noir.
One of the world’s great soft cheeses, Goat Cheese originated in the Mediterranean and Middle East in areas where goats were more plentiful than cows. Few wines pair as well with this tart and creamy cheese as southwest France’s Sauvignon Blanc: the tart flavors in the cheese combine with the bracing acidity in the wine to make a revelatory experience!
The taste of a firm cheese is one of life’s pleasures. These types of cheese may range from semi-hard to almost crumbly and tend to have a pronounced flavor.
There are many options for pairing these cheeses with wines. Sparkling wines like Prosecco, Cava or Champagne go well with aged cheeses like Gruyère or Manchego. The effervescence combined with the acid levels in the wine really clean the palate after every bite. Try pairing Mimolette and a Blanc de Noirs Champagne.
Many red wines from a variety of regions also work well with harder cheeses, especially wines based on Tempranillo or Sangiovese grapes. Aged Gouda with a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a delight for any palate.
A truly unique class of cheese, blue cheeses are extremely flavorful! Discovered in the 7th Century, this style of cheese preparation has been making people happy for centuries.
Sweet wines tend to be a perfect match for Blue Cheeses because of their pronounced and salty flavors. If you are out of sweeter styles of wine, softer red wines such as Gamay can also fit the bill. Fruity white wines also pair well with these types of cheese. That being said, Ruby or Tawny Ports are a great “go to:” if you haven’t had a Bleu d’Auvergne with Tawny Port you are missing out!
Ready to learn more about the world of wine? Check out our latest blog post about sweet wines!