Wine and Cheese – yes please!

I LOVE cheese – just putting it out there. And I LOVE finding the perfect wine to go with cheese – that moment when you get that it just goes, without even realising why. Recently I came across a fantastic article about cheese and wine matching in Aussie food and wine magazine, Selector, which put the art very simply; The whiter and brighter the cheese, the lighter and crisper the wine. The harder and darker the cheese, the darker and richer the wine. Another key point to note is that regional pairings also work very well, for example a goats cheese from the Loire Valley in Fance will pair well with a Loire Sauvignon Blanc.

If it’s the perfect match you’re looking for, it may be better to keep it simple and have just one cheese with one sensational wine match that your guests will remember – a full cheeseboard with a selection may prove more challenging. If this is the case, whites usually fair better as they go with a wider vareity of textures and flavours without being overbearing. At the end of the day, all palates are different and heavenly match for one guest may not work for another.

Try these classic matches to impress friends with your wine and cheese knowledge!

Sauvignon Blanc Soft goats or sheep’s milk cheeses
Chardonnay (oaked) Creamy Brie or Camembert – fat food, fat wine!
Viognier, Gewurztraminer or Riesling Sweeter cheeses like Swiss Emmental, Gouda or strong washed rind cheeses
Sticky sweet eg. Sauternes Blue cheeses – mouldy cheese with rotted grapes!
Sparkling wine or Champagne Hard cooked cheese like Parmesan or Gruyere
Pinot Noir or Cabernet Lighter pressed cheeses like Gouda, Manchego
Shiraz Mature, sharp, cheddar
Sherry Hard cooked cheese like Parmesan or Gruyere
Port Blue cheeses

As a self proclaimed wine and cheese aficionado (well, it’s great for a Friday night in!), here are a few of my favourite pairings:

Hardys Crest Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV Sparkling, Tesco, on sale at £6.99!! , with a deli Parmesan

 – Les Coteaux Tufiers Demi Sec, Vouvray, £6.95, The Wine Society*, with Lincolnshire Poacher

 – Saintsbury Chardonnay, Carneros, £16.99, Majestic**, with a creamy Brie

 – Cape Nelson Shiraz, South Africa, £8.99, Sainsburys, with a mature vintage cheddar like Davidstow

 – Campbells Rutherglen Muscat, Waitrose, £11.49, with a strong blue cheese like Stilton

For more great cheese and wine pairings – with a patriotic tick of approval – check out this great piece about Perfect Partners, put together by The British Cheese Board and English Wine Producers.

Cheers! Or should that be cheeeeese!

* Note that you do need to be a member to order from The Wine Society! Lifetime membership is a one-off payment of £40

**Note that minimum order is 6 bottles, but delivery is free when you spend £40

Cheese plate photo taken from cwbeucheler’s photostream on flickr.

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