There are few things in this world that go together as well as wine and cheese — just ask the countless number of women around the country calling it dinner every Friday night.
While it’s convenient and you know, delicious, there’s actually a scientific explanation behind it, with numerous studies finding the strong flavor of cheese accentuates the dominant flavors in wine.
“Interestingly, research shows your wine palate becomes more sensitive when combining cheese and wine so you will be able to detect more lovely flavors in the wine,” explains Cellarmasters’ wine expert and cellar director, Christine Ricketts.
But in order to get this heightened taste sensation, you need to pair the two right.
“If you pair cheese with the wrong wine, it can enhance unwanted flavors – for instance, blue cheese with a youthful, tannic red wine can make the wine taste metallic,” Ricketts warns.
“In general, white wine tends to work better with cheese, as the high acidity of the wine breaks down the fat. However, there are red wines that can work well with mature cheeses,” she added.
Here, Ricketts shares the perfect pairings to make you look like a Parisian pro.
1. Shiraz & Cheddar
As Shiraz is a generously flavored wine, it pairs well with rich, aged cheeses. A crumbly, mature cheddar will suit the muscularity of a bold, Australian Shiraz. The tannins bind to protein and fat, cleansing your palate after each bite.
2. Cabernet & Gruyère
Cabernet is a full-bodied red wine, with dark fruit flavors, so – just like Shiraz – it pairs favorably with sturdy cheeses. Go for a hard cheese with character like Gruyère, Manchego or a crumbly, red Cheshire.
3. Sauvignon Blanc & Goat’s Cheese
Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is a fruit driven wine and Goat’s Cheese is a classic match with the citrusy aromatics present in the wine. Feta and halloumi also work well with Sauv Blanc.
4. Moscato & Blue
A lightly fizzy and beautifully aromatic Moscato goes amazingly with blue cheese. The sweetness of the white wine balances the strong flavors of the moldy cheese.
5. Chardonnay & Brie
The combination of rich texture and high acidity can make Chardonnay a good wine to enjoy with creamy cheeses, like a Brie. The fruit of the wine will elevate the buttery, salty taste of the cheese.
6. Riesling & washed rind
A washed rind cheese will go beautifully with an off-dry Riesling, as the softly perceptible sweetness of the wine will perfectly balance the stinkiness of the cheese.
7. Pinot Noir & Camembert
Pinot Noir is a complex, delicate wine and the lightness of the red wine pairs well with a rich, soft cheese like Camembert. The mushroomy flavors of the wine also goes beautifully with the earthy taste of the cheese.
8. Pinot Grigio/Gris & Mozzarella or Edam
Pinot Grigio is a versatile white wine and pairs well with many cheeses, such as mozzarella or goat’s cheese. The more full-bodied Pinot Gris tends to go well with cheddar, Edam or Gouda.
9. Rosé & Havarti
If you’re drinking a fruity Rosé from a warm climate region – typically made from Shiraz or Grenache – a semi-soft cheese like Havarti is the ultimate pairing. If you’re drinking a dry Rosé, the wine’s crisp acidity pairs perfectly with a nutty Goat’s Cheese.
10. Champagne & most cheeses
Champagne is the ultimate wine to enjoy with cheese, as its carbonation helps break down the coating of butterfat that cheese leaves on the palate, reducing clashes and leaving a clean taste in the mouth. Champagne’s ample acidity and toasty, nutty flavors complement most cheeses, ranging from fresh to aged.
11. Sangiovese & Pecorino
Sangiovese is a savory, red wine and the classic cheese pairing with this Italian-style grape is Tuscan pecorino, an Italian hard cheese. The slight saltiness of the cheese draws out the fruit in this highly acidic wine.
By Ashleigh Austen
March 23, 2018
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