In our final piece of this Food and Wine 101 series, we’re going to discuss the most important wine pairing of all: cheese.
These two were meant to be together and far be it from us to keep them apart. Now, not all wine and cheeses are best friends so let us give you a bit of a guide so you get the best out of both in every bite.
Tannins hold their own in a red wine so a funky, aged cheese will do well here. A smoky aged gouda will complement the qualities of a Shiraz or Syrah. A sweet red like a Port is known for being a buddy to pungent blues like Stilton. Remember that heavy or full-bodied reds can be overpowering so you want something with a real punch to match it.
The stone fruit and citrus notes of white wines make them delightful pairs with many kinds of cheese. The soft fresh ones like mozzarella or burrata go well with crisp fruity whites like Chenin Blanc or a steel-aged Chardonnay. The sweeter whites like a Gewurztraminer are great for those super stinky cheeses like Fontina or Taleggio to help balance it all out.
Creamy cheeses are the bffs of bubbly wines. Pair that brie with a gorgeous Cava or Prosecco. They’re also excellent with the really salty cheeses like Pecorino and Parmesan because they tend to be a little sweeter which is a lovely accompaniment. It can also be a great friend to blue cheese but only the creamier ones as the funky ones can offset the dryness of the bubbly. The crispness of the wine is like a palate cleanser after those super fragrant cheesy bites.
The beautiful thing about rosé is how it lives in the middle zone of flavor between reds and whites which means it pairs well with those milder, fresher cheeses. Feta and goat cheese are amazing with this pink specialty as are soft, slightly bloomy cheeses like Kunik. The sweeter roses are likely not what you want when eating anything with too much personality – go for the subtle and very mild in that case.
When pairing wine with cheese, it’s important to know which you’d like to feature. If you have a super bold red wine, you’ll likely want to pair it with cheeses that bring out its best qualities.
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