Would you like some cheese with that wine?

(illustration by Bess)

It's Thursday, time to start thinking about the weekend, and more importantly food and wine! The Guerrilla Gourmand has a great post today about wine and cheese pairings, so get out your pencil and notebook because there's some good stuff here! Enjoy...

(Photo from Wikimedia.com)
Pecorino cheese

I remember the first time I had an amazing food-and-wine pairing. The wine was decent, but nothing spectacular. In fact, at first sip, I was disappointed at how mediocre the wine seemed to be. It wasn’t the big-bold-juicy wine that my taste buds were usually impressed with. I had ordered the wine pairing along with a four-course meal, and I could console myself with the fact that at least the ambience of the restaurant was nice and I was in good company. So when the food arrived, I somewhat unceremoniously took a bite and a sip – whereupon my senses overwhelmed me with delight. Flavors fell in love in my mouth. It was exhilarating.

(photo from Wikimedia.com)
Feta Cheese

I find that while I love to learn about wine, it’s rare when I have the time (or the liver capacity!) to just sit with a bottle without something to eat. So here are my suggestions for pairing wine with cheese.

Wine and cheese flavors can vary tremendously by vintage, storage conditions and age, so this serves only as a rule-of-thumb guide. Experiment to find the perfect pair(s) to delight you!
(photo from Wikimedia.com)

In general, “Red Wines go with Hard Cheese, White Wines go with Soft Cheese”. However, there are lots of notable exceptions, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

Some Specific Suggestions:

1) Try shavings of a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino with a bold, full-bodied wine like an Australian Shiraz.

2) For a soft cheese like feta, goat or mozzarella, look to crisp, unoaked white wines. A grassy or even citrus-y Sauvignon Blanc from Chile or New Zealand might pair well.

3) My husband’s favorite wine and cheese pairing is a blue cheese like Roquefort with sweet and fortified wines like Sauternes, Madeira or an aged Tawny Port.

4) Creamy soft cheeses like Brie or Camembert are, in general, difficult to pair with wine. The easiest and most fun pairing is a sparkling wine, though you may also have success with a Spanish Rioja.

~ The Guerrilla Gourmand

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