Pairing Wine and Cheese (for Novices)
So it’s come to that point in your life where you want to throw an actually classy party, and you try your best to dress up your tiny two-bed-one-bath for a party fit for the career-established 45-year-old you aspire to be. Now, it’s time for you to pick out the wine and cheese over which everyone shall fawn and flatter, making you feel like the A+ adult you really are. But where to start? Don’t worry, here are a few tips to make pairing your preferred wine and cheeses a piece of cake (which you could also probably serve to save your party if all else goes wrong).
- Whites v. reds
White wines get a better rep when it comes to pairing with cheeses; the lighter feel and acidity typically go well with your softer and creamier cheeses (think along the lines of Brie and Camembert). Red wines pair well with harder/firmer cheeses like Muenster and Cheddar, as the flavors stand up to each other better. But also keep in mind that a good salty/sweet contrast is always desirable.
Often one will find that cheeses and wines from the same regions will pair well. Camembert with a French wine or Parmesan with Italian will likely go nicely and also make you look cultured and/or well-traveled as an added bonus.
Wine and cheese pairing is certainly not fool-proof, and the best way to get a sense of what goes well together is to simply pick your favorite wine and some cheese to see if each enhances the flavor of the other. Personal tastes are all subjective, so find what works for you! If the prospect of that is a bit daunting though, here are a few preliminary recommendations:
- Dry red wines: Gouda, Gorgonzola, Gruyere, Parmesan
- Fruity red wines: Monterey Jack, Port Salut, Swiss
- Dry white wines: Chévre, Gouda, Provolone
- Sparkling white wines: Brie, Cheddar, Colby
- Sweet white wines: Marscapone, bleu cheese, Créme Fraiche
Happy pairing! May your grown-up parties feel and taste as lovely as your wines and cheeses.
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