Foodies across the globe are always in search of the perfect wine and cheese pairing and it’s easy to see why — the two represent the pinnacle of fine dining, offering rich and complex flavors that are to be savored. But if you are like many other people, you’re not always quite sure what sort of fromage will go best with that bottle of Merlot, or how to best complement that aged goat cheese. It’s a whole wide world out there for you to explore, but first it might be best to start with the basics.
Play it safe
Here’s the secret of the day: pretty much everything goes with a nice Pinot Noir. Of course, it depends a lot on the particular bottle you’re pouring, but generally speaking you’ll be safe with everything including creamy cheeses, soft goat cheese, brie, Gouda, and pretty much anything else. The trick, of course, is finding a brand that tastes good in the first place!
White wines come with a natural acidity that is a perfect complement to cheeses of all kinds. However, if you are serving red, it is better to choose something with a bit more acidity to cut through those strong flavors.
Old or young
The big factor in cheese pairings is to consider its age and intensity. Many older cheeses acquire earthy or nutty flavors that go perfectly with full-bodied wines with a complex structure. Lighter cheeses on the other hand, like mozzarella, young parmigiana, and alpines, are a good match with lighter wines like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
Salty and sweet
Just like in the rest of the food world, salty and sweet are always a perfect match. Saltier cheeses like feta or blue cheese go excellently with sweeter wines. Dessert wines are a good option, and paired with a nice slice of creamy blue cheese, serve as an excellent way to end a meal.
Hold your nose!
Stinky, pungent cheeses offer unique flavors that are robust, salty, and very complex. However, rather than trying to go head-to-head with this starring role, it is smarter to find something a bit more subtle that can complement. Try a Reisling or Red Burgundy.
Try some of these out for yourself and let us know what you think!