What are the Guidelines for combining Wine and Cheese?
What wine should I serve with crackers, grapes and stilton? Whether you are hosting a cheese and wine tasting event for your business or serving a cheeseboard for a family feast this Christmas, it is always useful to know exactly how to pair cheese and wine.
Cheese and wine are extremely popular at Christmas and have been a great food and drink partnership for centuries. Pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is usually a safe and reliable way to choose your combinations. It is worth bearing in mind that the harder types of cheese (Parmesan, cheddar) can handle more tannic, thick-skinned variety wines, for example Cabernet Sauvignon and Chianti. Creamy cheeses generally pair better with high acidity wines, while salty cheeses complement sweet wines.
Indulge in Wine and Cheese This Christmas
This Christmas you will undoubtedly be surrounded by an excruciatingly tempting selection of wines, cheeses and other scrumptious Christmas delights. So if you’re going to indulge, Wineware are dedicated to helping you indulge wisely! If you are like me, you can’t resist the alluring smell of a luxurious cheeseboard complemented by a fine, sweet aromatic white wine.
Christmas is the perfect time (and excuse) to enjoy an array of delicious cheeses from around the world alongside a glass of wine. Cheese and wine pairing does take some time to master, but there is no better time than Christmas to experiment and see how your taste buds react. To get you started, Wineware has compiled a list of wine and cheese pairing selections below:
Wineware’s Wine and Cheese Serving Suggestions
|Cheddar||Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot, Pinot Gris||If the cheese is mature, you may opt for a dry white rather than a sweet white wine.|
|Asiago||Bardolino, Pinot Gris, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel||Asiago is a great cheese to use in pasta dishes.|
|Boursin||Gewürztraminer||Boursin is perfect with crackers and grapes.|
|Brie||Sweet sherry, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc||Brie is delightful served with cranberries.|
|Camembert||Cabernet, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Beaujolais Nouveau, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir||Melted Camembert with bread makes a great snack or starter.|
|Danish Blue||Cabernet||Add Danish Blue to a cheese sauce to give it a kick!|
|Double Gloucester||Sancerre||A delicious cheese with herb and chive crackers.|
|Edam||Pinot Noir, Riesling, Dry Champagne||Perfect for cheese sauces.|
|Feta||Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Beaujolais||Ideal for salads.|
|Fontina||Barolo, Barbaresco, Nebbiolo, Cabernet Franc, Chianti, Sangiovese||Fontina cheese can be used like parmesan.|
|Vouvray, Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, Zinfandel, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris||Goat cheese is a healthier alternative to cream cheese, great toasted!|
|Gorgonzola||Bordeaux, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon||Recipe idea: bruschetta with Gorgonzola cheese and honey.|
|Gouda||Red or White||Gouda cheese is perfect served with fruit.|
|Graddost||Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc||A great snack served with rustic bread.|
|Gruyere||Chardonnay, Champagne, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel||Gruyere is great for eating with crackers.|
|Manchego||Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Merlot,||Manchego can be served with olives.|
|Mascarpone||Sweet, dessert wines||Mascarpone is great in cheesecakes.|
|Mozzarella||Sangiovese, Chianti||Any light red or white wines are generally well paired with Mozzarella.|
|Red Leicester||Pinot Noir, Chardonnay||An oaky chardonnay is perfect with Red Leicester!|
|Roquefort||Cabernet Sauvignon, Port||Roquefort can be used in salads, pasta dishes and quiches.|
|Stilton||Port||Christmas favourite for (strong) cheese lovers!|
|Wensleydale||Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer||Traditionally Wensleydale is served with fruit cake and an apple.|
|Zamorano||Rioja, Sangria||Zamorano can be enjoyed on its own or with crackers and olives.|
Serving tips for the ultimate Wine and Cheese feast
You can serve your cheese with a selection of crackers, including: ‘classic’ cream crackers, black pepper crackers, water crackers and most supermarkets sell boxes offering a variety of biscuits for cheese. Apple slices, celery sticks, dates, grapes and nuts often compliment a cheese board well and can be a great alternative/addition to crackers. Cheese knives are ideal for cutting your soft and hard cheeses with precision.
Useful Points to Remember
With so many types of cheese available from local supermarkets or Christmas markets or stalls, you are spoilt for choice. Experimentation is the key in finding the types of wine and cheese pairings that best suit your taste.
Your wine and cheese selection can be themed, for example regional such as a French wine paired with French cheese, Brie or Camembert. Or if you are hosting a wine and cheese evening, you could ask each of your guests to bring their own choice of cheese. This would give you a random selection of cheeses and a great way to try, and be introduced, to new cheeses or perhaps ones you have steered clear of, for whatever reason.
The most important thing to remember is it is all down to personal taste. The above table offers a good starting point for you to begin your cheese and wine exploration.
Suggest your pairings (photo) to win £50 Wineware voucher!
We’ve spent the past few weeks eating cheese and drinking wine to produce this blog post, so we really can’t eat and drink anymore. Now it is your turn. Let us know what unique and tasty combinations you discover this Christmas!
Send us a photograph of your wine and cheese spreads via Twitter (@WinewareUK) or Pinterest with the hashtag #Winewarecheese, or email us, with the subject heading ‘Cheese and Wine Pairing’ to firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win.
We will be accepting entries until Friday 18th January 2013. We’ll then pick our favourite and send the winner a £50 Wineware voucher. Let the wine and cheese feast begin!
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