Wine and cheese make a perfect combination for creating memorable moments. Therefore, a wine-and-cheese party is a great option to welcome your new neighbors, to celebrate your birthday or to spend great partying moments with your friends. However, most people consider preparing this kind of party an overwhelming task. And they have the right.
Pairing wine with cheese is not easy; you need to make sure the wine complements the taste of the cheese and vice versa. Not that there are strict rules about food & wine pairing, but for example, stronger wines pair well with stronger flavour cheeses. Also, white wines pair best with soft, creamy cheeses, while reds are best with hard cheeses. If it sounds a bit complicated, trust us, it isn’t. And it certainly should not be the reason nor an excuse for you giving up on throwing a good wine & cheese party. Follow the steps below to learn the essentials of pairing wine and cheese.
What you need to know before you start discovering the possible wine-and-cheese pairing options, are their main features. When it comes to cheese, the determining factors that come into play are:
- the level of moisture,
- the type of milk from which the cheese is made,
- the region of origin, and
- the rind or mold.
When it comes to wine, you need to consider: acidity, body, sweetness and tannin content.
Common characteristics of most types of blue cheeses are the increased saltiness and rich taste. To balance the saltiness and the rich flavour, go for robust red or sweet desert wines. Example: Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
Although this Italian whey cheese is famous for being the main ingredient in fillings for stuffed pasta shells, lasagna and few Italian desserts, the creamy white and slightly sweet Ricotta perfectly enhances crisp and dry Pinot Gris.
When it comes to Chevre (also known as goat cheese), there is no strict rule for matching it with a wine, since matching depends on the age of the cheese. Younger cheeses pair well with lighter wines, such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Champagne and Semillon wine. If the cheese is aged, a Pinot Noir would be the best choice.
The flavour of this Dutch cheese can be best accentuated with wines that feature semi-level of sweetness and low content of acid. You can’t go wrong by pairing this type of cheese with a semi-sweet or a semi-dry Riesling wine.
This sharp cheese is best paired with Chianti, Prosecco or Nebbiolo. The sweet, heavy-fruit notes, as well as the high acidity and tannin content of these wines can best complement the sharp taste of Parmesan cheeses.
Planning a wine party? Follow these steps