Feel like going fancy for the holidays? Having wine and cheese is your best bet!
While serving a spread of cheeses and several miscellaneous bite-sized food pairings on a slab of wood sounds fairly easy, it can be quite the difficult task when you’re planning to set it up with wine. Wines and cheeses’ flavors all vary, so tossing together any of the two as a combo won’t do, careful consideration is always required. Luckily we’ve turned to a cheat sheet for pairing the two from Serious Eats to help you out.
1. Pair by flavor intensity. Consider that the older the cheese, the more savory its flavor. Its wine counterpart needs to have more body and complexity.
2. Tannins matter. Note that red tannic wines cling to protein and fat, which is found most in aged cheese. Sipping on tannic wine with young cheese leaves that unpleasant metallic aftertaste. However, if you’re stuck with only a choice of red wine, you can opt for one that’s low in tannin.
3. Sweet and salty is timeless. Think salted caramel, but in different variations. Sweet wine is always a perfect partner for a salty cheese (i.e. Grana, blue cheese, aged Gouda) as the cheese’s taste gives the wine’s flavor a boost.
4. Fruit and nuts pair well with cheese too. Young cheeses go well with juicy and tangy fruits; sweet dried fruits match with salty cheese while bitter nuts go with cheddar. Remember that these concerns matter with choosing wine as well, so you can use picking out the food that harmonizes with the cheese to pick out a wine.
5. Observe texture. Take note of how smooth and creamy cheeses fuse brilliantly with wines that are just as smooth, similar textures go finely. But contrasting textures can be good as well like a bubbly sparkling wine and a suave rich cheese.
Fresh and soft cheese – Paired best with white wines, dry rosés, sparkling wines, dry aperitif wines, and light-bodied reds (low in tannins).
Semi-hard, medium-aged cheese – Click medium-aged cheeses with medium-bodied whites, fruity reds, and vintage sparkling wine.
Stinky cheese – Light-bodied wines.
Blue cheese – Sweet-flavored wines to balance the cheeses’ saltiness.
Hard-aged cheese – Full-bodied whites and tannic reds, and maybe sweet wines.
Read the full article on pairing wine and cheese here.
Got any additional tips for pairing wine and cheese? Share it in the Comments!