It’s often said that good things come in pairs. Well, this might just be the best example. Today we are writing about OUR favourite thing (wine, of course) and EVERYONE’S favourite thing, (cheese, duh.) Wine & cheese pairing parties were quite a trend in 2019 and is moving swiftly into 2020. What a unique experience to offer at your next dinner party? But who really knows which wine pairs perfectly which which cheese? Well don’t you worry, we’re here to educate you!
One must remember to take into consideration many elements such as acidity, tannin, texture, and flavor.
This is an important element to consider when choosing the right companion for your cheese. As the cheese ages, the flavors of the fat and proteins begin to take a leading role. Older cheese, like Gruyère, tend to be more savory and strong. In the same sense, as wines age their flavors and complexity also changes. Therefore, we should take into consideration the flavor intensity acquired by the aging process of both the wine and the cheese.
Cheeses with a fresh, creamy flavor are usually tangy or mild, and pair exceptionally well with light-bodied reds and dry rosés. Soft cheeses such as Ricotta, Mozzarella, Brie, or Chèvre can be enjoyed with a nice glass of Pinot Grigio, Lambrusco, Sauvignon Blanc, or Moscato. It’s important to remember that balance is key; therefore, the younger the cheese, the lighter the wine should be.
Semi-hard cheeses, such as Gruyère, Manchego, and Havarti, which tend to have a stronger flavor due to its firmer texture are better experienced when accompanied by wines with a nice balance between acidity and tannin. These cheeses usually have an acidity and salty touch, which are highlighted by the flavors of medium-bodied whites and fruity reds. You can’t go wrong with a bottle of Chardonnay, Merlot, or Tempranillo when pairing these.
At the other side of the spectrum, we have hard, aged cheeses with a strong flavor and creamy profile. The nuttiness of cheeses such as Comté, Pecorino, or Cheshire, works extremely well with dry, full-bodied whites and fruity, tannic red wines. Petite Sirah, white Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Nebbiolo are a sure bet when you’re enjoying an aged cheese.
1.Take the cheeses out of the fridge around 2 hours before the party starts; most cheeses taste better when enjoyed at room temperature. When thinking about organizing a wine and cheese party, we recommend to keep the number of guests under 12 so you can have enough time to properly take care of them.
2. To avoid overwhelming your guests, try offering no more than five different cheeses. It’s usually recommended to offer 50 – 100 gram portions so guest can sample all the different varieties. Rather than placing a central platter. It’s also a good idea to place a couple scattered around the room so people can access the offerings easier. Each station should have samples of the different cheeses, maybe divided by type of milk, region, or style, and their recommended wine pairing.
And now there is only one thing left to do, enjoy!