How To Pair Wines And Cheese
The classic combination of wine and cheese is a treat that many people enjoy. But if you want to enjoy the best possible taste of this pair, the combination needs to be done properly. While this isn’t rocket science, there are still some useful tips you need to consider for this pairing to be ideal.
To help you create a suitable wine and cheese pair, we’ll take you through a few useful tips on what to consider in making the right combination. After understanding this, you’ll be in an excellent position to create an exquisite and delicious wine and cheese pair.
1. Opt For White Wine When Undecided
If you’re still not used to pairing wine and cheese, it’s advisable to go for white wine over red wine. White wine does a great job in being paired with cheese because it mostly tastes like pineapple, apples, grapes, and pears. All these fruits taste good when eaten with cheese.
Therefore, when enjoying creamy cheese, you should pick unoaked white wines because of their crisp and fresh finish.
2. Use Food To Bridge Cheese And Wine
In some instances, finding the perfect wine and cheese match can be somewhat of a challenge.
When doing a wine and food pairing, it’s easier to achieve the perfect balance between the taste of wine and the flavor of the cheese. The food options to consider include dried fruit, jam, crackers, or apples alongside wine and cheese.
This will take some experimentation, but over time, you’ll be able to determine which flavor is more appealing to your taste.
3. Aim For Balance
The balance achieved by the wine and cheese pairing is the most important factor you need to consider when combining them. This means before you choose the type of wine and cheese, you need to assess the wine’s acids or tannins and the cheese’s creaminess as well. Doing this is crucial to ensure that the wine and cheese combination you’d pick is compatible with one another.
For example, if you’re looking to pair a Pinot Noir with a soft cheeseburger, you would want to select a cheese that has milder acidity or something that has some residual nitrogen.
Similarly, if you are looking for a Cabernet Sauvignon with a roasted port smoked salmon, you would want to select a dry, smoky grilled cheese with a medium level of acidity and flavor.
The tannins or acids in the wine react with the cheese’s fat, which improves the flavors and cleanses the palate. Some of the harmonious wine and cheese pairings you should consider are:
- Medium-bodied white wine alongside semi-soft cow milk cheese;
- Full-bodied and rich red wines such as Syrah blends with hard sheep’s milk cheese.
- Fruity and fresh red wine like Gamay, Barbera, or Pinot Noir alongside alpine-style cheeses such as Comte.
- Aromatic and gentle white wine like Riesling with fresh, young soft goat milk cheese.
Another important thing to remember when you’re pairing wines with cheese is that you should always aim for moderate acidity. Most red wines like Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, for example, tend to have very high acidity levels.
This means they will usually pair well with meat and cheese dishes with a lot of butter and heavy cream or sauce over them. Red wines like these are perfect for meat and cheese florets, as well as sunny weather and fruity desserts.
4. Pair Wine and Cheese That You Would Enjoy
While it’s good to get insights on which are the best pairings to consider, you should only pick what you know you can enjoy. This is a better strategy when dealing with hesitation, trying to decide if other pairings are a better pick as recommended by others. Pairing the type of wine and cheese that you won’t enjoy will not be worth it. So, know your preferences well!
Relax and don’t mind breaking the rules in choosing a flavor that you’d enjoy. So long as the pairing provides you with the cheese’s creamy richness alongside the subtle flavor of wine, go for it. Don’t let other people convince you otherwise because everybody has different tastes and preferences.
5. Ensure Both The Cheese And Wine Are At The A Suitable Temperature
To best bring out the flavor of the cheese and wine, you need to make sure that their temperature is ideal. If not, you won’t get the most out of the taste that the manufacturer had intended.
Observing the correct room temperature is especially important when dealing with cheese, which becomes soft when left at room temperature. When left at a colder temperature, the cheese becomes harder, preventing it from doing an excellent job bringing out its flavors and smells. The same applies to both red and white wine, so you need to ensure that you don’t store them in an extremely cold or hot environment.
6. Pair Wine And Cheese From The Same Region
To achieve the perfect pair, try to serve cheese and wine that come from a similar area since they have a natural harmony with one another.
If you’re having trouble finding a wine and cheese pair from the same region, you can fake it and follow this general principle in whatever you choose.
For example, the American cheddar is a great partner for champagne with French brie, Gewurztraminer that’s got muenster from the Alps, Italian Chianti with aged parmesan, or cabernet sauvignon.
7. Soft Cheese Pairs Best With Red Wine
The perfect match for red wine is soft cheese. This is because the red wine characterized by low acidity levels and more tannins brings out a chalky taste from the soft cheese. To avoid this, you should instead go for a savory and full-bodied cheese like cheddar. By doing this, the tannins act like the palate cleanser, which makes every sip and bite as tasty as the last.
Pairing wine and cheese can be a big challenge for most people. Without the right pairing, it becomes difficult to bring out the taste and flavor of both wine and cheese.
If you are stuck and don’t know where to start in pairing wine and cheese, refer to this informative guide and find some informative tips on what needs to be done when pairing these two.