The Best Wine and Cheese Pairings
There are certain things that were just meant to be together: peanut butter and jelly, ketchup and hot dogs, and, of course, wine and cheese. And while there are certain wines that go best with certain cheeses, blending the perfect harmony of wine and cheese is a lot easier than you might think.
Cheese makes a faithful accompaniment to many wines, whether it’s for an appetizer, just before dessert, or a meal all on its own.
The Right Mix
Wine connoisseurs will tell you one major rule when mixing wines and cheeses: serve the lighter cheeses first accompanied by lighter wines, then gradually move on to the stronger cheeses and full-bodied wines. Of course, your own personal taste will obviously come into play, and yours will definitely help guide you to wonderful combinations.
Whatever your preferences happen to be, you should select your cheeses from various categories of fresh, soft, semi-soft, firm and hard cheeses.
Here are some tips to make the perfect combination:
Fresh cheeses – These make tasty snacks when spread on crackers or biscuits, and pair very nicely with sparkling wines and Champagne. They are also great with most white wines and some reds.
Soft cheeses – Serve up light and fruity wines with soft cheese like Brie or Camembert. Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Bordeaux make perfect choices. If the cheese is more mature, serve drier red or white wine, like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cabernet Sauvignon or Gamay.
Semi-soft cheeses – Havarti, Gruyère, and Monterey Jack pair nicely with dry, light white, or rosé. Since semi-firm cheeses have feature stronger flavours, like Cantonnier or Oka, full-bodied wines like Chianti are better choices.
Firm cheeses – With Cheddar, Gouda, Friulano, or Provolone cheeses, select a dry rosé or fruity red wine. Full-bodied red wines, like Bordeaux, Zinfandel, or Chianti go well with flavoured cheeses, such as sharp Cheddar, Miranda, or aged Provolone.
Hard cheeses – Strong, flavourful cheeses like Parmesan are great with very dry white wines, like Alsace and Pinot Gris, as well as sherry.
What Temperatures Should the White, Rosé or Red Wine Be At?
Don’t forget to serve the wine at its appropriate temperature. Dry red wines, for instance, are best between 14ºC and 20ºC, and light red, dry white and rosé wines are best served between 10ºC and 12ºC. Dessert wines are perfect at 8ºC, and Champagne and sparkling wines are best at 5ºC or 6ºC.
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