Wine and Cheese Pairing Pointers to Remember


4 Important Pointers to Remember for a Perfect Combination

For a cheese lover like me, there is no doubt that it is the best food there is. Every kind is unique since there are no two slices of cheese that have the same flavour. Each has its distinct taste. But what makes a lovelier treat is a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Camembert or Danish Blue or perhaps, Chardonnay with a cheese plate of Brie, Gouda, Parmesan and Provolone or Epoisses de Bourgogne.

Pairing wine with cheese has been a practise for centuries and over the years, the list of choices continued to grow. While this has become more interesting and exciting, the process has become daunting as well confusing to some. You might be tempted to experiment just for the thrill and there is no law against this. Trial and error can work, but, why waste time when you can do away with a lot of guess work with these tips? The key is to have a guideline you can follow.

Here are 4 important pointers when pairing wines and cheeses:

Go regional

Experts say that if you want to be on the safe side, simply pair wines and cheeses from the same region, say, Garnacha with Manchego or Sauvignon Blanc with Goat Cheese. Or perhaps, you can try Saulnois cheese with Berckem from Domaine Marcel Deiss. The former has a washed rind while the latter is a blend of 13 alsatian grapes and both are from the Northeast of France.

Go for the wine first

While others will decide on the wine after they have tasted the cheese, you can try to do it the other way around. Take a sip and hold it in your mouth to taste the flavour. Even wine cheese pairing tests in laboratories are done this way. However, see to it that you need to have a clean palate so no other flavours will mix with the taste. If you have eaten cheese before this, it will be a different story and one that will not necessarily have a clear ending.

The rind is not to be wasted, but tasted. That’s where the cheesy flavour comes from

An ongoing debate is whether to eat or not to eat the rind. If you really love cheese, you know that it will be a waste not to taste the rind, let alone, not enjoy it with wine. Rinds combine best with wines since it is in the rind where the flavour of the cheese comes from. Surprisingly, its flavour is different from the interior part of the cheese which allows you to have unique combinations. Wines with higher acid levels, such as Sancerre from Domaine Bailly-Reverdy, are great choices.

When uncertain, Champagne is your best bet

What makes Champagne the safest choice if you are unsure what to pair with any cheese is its flexibility. It can go with almost any food, be it chips or cheese. Moreover, Champagne and cheese are both made from simple ingredients and the maturity and peak flavours of both are achieved using an ageing process. These characteristics make these two a natural pair. Of course, there is the lightness and low acidity of champagne that balance the saltiness and richness of the cheese.

Now that you know how to create the perfect combination, why have the same wine and cheese at parties all the time? And why confine yourself in a box when you can make your wine and cheese pairing a match made in heaven?


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