Cheese Will Influence the Flavours In Wine

For centuries cheese and wine have gone hand in hand; however with today’s ever expanding options for both wine and cheese obtaining a proper balance can be staggering.

That texture of a cheese is a window into its flavour, and perceiving flavour is the key to understanding how to pair Cheese And Wine. Hence a complete understanding about various styles of cheese is essential.

Cheese can be classified into four major categories:

· Bloomy: These are creamy, decadent cheeses having a soft rind.

· Hard: Stiff cheeses, which are often sharp and/or salty and can also be aged.

· Blue: Pungent and are often salty cheeses having a blue tinge.

· Fresh: Soft, spreadable cheeses that can be zesty or mild and are not generally aged.

It is imperative to know that cheese will influence the flavours in wine much more than the other way around, i.e. cheese can enhance or ruin a wine in the blink of an eye. To avoid the latter, the following tips can be taken into consideration for successful wine and cheese pairing.

· It’s counterintuitive, as majority of people think of pairing cheese with red wine, however it has been ascertained that white wines tend to go better with cheese. The best possibilities are unoaked whites, like Rieslings, Albariños from Spain or Sauvignon Blancs.·

The texture of cheese greatly influences the wine choice. In other words, just as lighter wines tend to go outshine with lighter foods and heavier wines with heavier foods, is has been noted that lighter cheeses compliment lighter wines quite exquisitely –for instance fresh goat cheese with a crisp Sancerre. Richer cheeses, like Camembert or Tête de Moine, need a more full-bodied wine, such as white Burgundy or a Pinot Gris from Alsace.

· To pair cheese with big, bold red wines, is essential to choose a well-balanced semi-hard cheese, such as the cheddar made by Fiscalini Farms in California or Cabot Clothbound from Vermont.

· Fruity wines, sweet wines, sparkling wines, and older red wines tend to sit well with cheese.

· Blue Cheese and Sweet Wine completely complement each other. There’s rarely an instance where this pairing won’t work.

Here’s an easy guide for various wine and cheese pairing:

· Fresh and soft cheeses

Cheeses: Mozzarella, Burrata, Ricotta, Chèvre, Halloumi, Brie, Savarin, Feta, Crottin, Bûcheron, Camembert

Wine: Riesling (dry to sweet), Moscato, Champagne, Cava, Chablis, Chenin Blanc, Albariño, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Grüner, unoaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Provençal rosé, Veltliner, Lambrusco, White Port, Fino sherry, Beaujolais ,Gewürztraminer

· Blue cheeses

Cheeses: Stilton, Roquefort, Bleu d’Auvergne, Gorgonzola, Cambozola
Wine: Tawny Port, Sauternes, Banyuls, Recioto, Tokaji, Oloroso sherry

· Semi hard cheeses

Cheeses: Havarti, Manchego, Emmental, Gruyère, Young Cheddar, Edam, Monterey Jack, Tomme d’Alsace, Jarlsberg

Wine: White Burgundy, red Burgundy, white Bordeaux, Pinot Blanc, Amontillado sherry Viognier, white Rhône blends, Riesling (off-dry, Chardonnay, Champagne, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Dolcetto, Barbera,), Gewürztraminer Zinfandel, Merlot, vintage Port, young Tawny Port

· Hard aged cheeses

Cheeses: Aged Cheddar, Comté, aged Gruyère, aged Gouda, , Manchego, Asiago, Parmigiano Reggiano, Cheshire, Pecorino

Wine: White Rhône blends, Red Port, Viognier, vintage Champagne, Vin Jaune, red Burgundy, red Bordeaux, Aged white Burgundy or Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Barolo, Nebbiolo, Petite Sirah, California red blends, Red Rhône blends, Tawny Port, Barbaresco, Sauternes, Oloroso sherry, sweet Riesling ,Madeira, Zinfandel.

As you begin to experiment on your own, taste the cheese first by itself, to get a sense of its character, and then put another bite into your mouth with some wine to see how they mingle.

However, it is to be noted that these are just recommendations and one can always try to experiment with their own pairings and who knows there a combination which can literally knock your socks off.

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