Successfully pairing wine and cheese is a bit more complicated than it may seem. They’ve been paired together forever, but as there are more and more options these days, trying to make a decision of how to pair them can be overwhelming. To give you a starting point for the next occasion, here we’ve put together a brief guide to help you choose what kind of wine to accompany each type of cheese.
Pairing cheese with red wines
As the New York Post explains, there are few things that go as well together as wine and cheese. In fact, they explain that there’s a scientific reason backed by multiple studies that conclude that the strong flavors of cheese actually enhance a wine’s flavors. But in order for this combination to work, Wine Mag explains that you have to take into account aspects like texture, acidity, fat, and tannins.
The mostly commonly consumed red wines are usually dry, with medium to full body. These are a great option to serve with red meat, but are not necessarily what we have in mind when it comes to cheese. Full-bodied wines can easily overpower the flavors of less-intense cheeses.
Red wines contain tannins, a compound present in the skins and seeds of grapes. The quantity of tannins in a wine can vary significantly, but are found are in greater amounts in young red wines, and tend to fade as the wine ages.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Goes very well with aged cheese with complex flavors. The tannins in the wine love the proteins and fats in the cheese, effectively cleansing the palate after each bite. With younger cheese, this effect can be too intense, causing the cheese to appear metallic and clay-like. Ideal cheeses are Gouda, Camembert, Gorgonzola, and Feta.
Merlot: The best options are strong, aged cheeses like aged Gouda or an aged Cheddar. Italian cheese like Parmesan or Pecorino are also great options.
Pinot Noir: An excellent option if you’re planning on serving a selection of lighter cheeses like Gruyère, Brie, and Camembert.
Pairing cheese with white wines
Sauvignon Blanc: This variety with goat cheese are the perfect pair, according to many tasters. The levels of acidity and fruit flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc are the ideal package for the bitter and dry tones of the goat cheese. Other recommendations are Parmigiano Reggiano and aged Asiago.
Chardonnay: Creamy cheeses like Camembert, Gruyère, and Provolone and other smooth cheeses are the perfect pairing for this variety.
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