The Curious Case of Wine & Cheese
There is nothing more exciting to a gourmet than a subtle pairing of wine and cheese, while everyone wants to have a perfect combination, not everyone quiet knows the features of cheese to be savoured with the right kind of wines. Today being National Wine and Cheese Day, let’s get to know more about these delicacies.
Today being National Wine and Cheese Day, let’s find out more about these delicacies.
Wines with 14.5% ABV are more intense and taste better with more intensely flavoured cheeses, while Wines under 12% ABV are less intense and match nicely with more delicately flavoured cheeses.
Bold red wines pair best with aged cheese. As cheese ages and looses water-content, it becomes richer in flavour with its increased fat content. These two attributes are ideal for matching bold red wines because the fat content in the cheese counteracts the high-tannins in the wine. For the best results, select cheeses that have been aged at least a year, including Cheddar, Gruyère, Manchego, Gouda, Provolone, or Parmesan-style varieties like Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano.
Whenever you are served many kinds of wines and you don’t know how to choose your cheese then safest option is nutty cheese because it will pair well with every kind of wine. The cheese will have enough fat to counterbalance tannin in red wine, but enough delicacy to compliment delicate whites. A few examples include Swiss, Gruyère, Abbaye de Belloc, Comté Extra, Emmental, and Gouda.
Here is a simple description of various kinds of cheeses and their prominent characteristics from which they can be easily recognised and which are the important reasons of their pairing with distinct kinds of wines:
1. Blue cheese – This family of cheese is made from cow’s milk, goat’s milk and sheep’s milk and is treated with moulds to produce green and blue algae. Although blue cheese has a strong flavour which intensifies with age, there are also a few that can be defined as mellow. Their taste is generally sweet which can be combined with salty, tangy and sharp notes of wines. Wines which are generally recommended to be coupled with blue cheese are Dessert Wines which have intense sweet flavours.
2. Brie – This cheese has French origin and often made from raw or pasteurised, whole or skimmed cow’s milk. It has a creamy texture and a thin edible rind. These types of cheese are generally coupled with sparkling wines and champagne.
3. Cambozola – It’s native to Austria and Germany. Cow’s milk is the main ingredient with added cream to give it smooth, creamy and spreadable texture. For the most part, flavours are on the mellow side with a bit of zipping from the blue. Wines recommended to be paired with Cambozola are Merlot which is a soft, red wine, generally, Merlot from California are preferred.
4. Fresh Goat Cheese – It’s made from pure goat’s milk and is also referred to as chevre and is often rolled into black peppercorns or herbs for added flavour. Its texture can be soft, creamy, dry or firm. Sancerre a white wine, from Loire region of France is generally coupled with Goat cheese. Sauvignon Blanc another white wine also from Loire region is also savoured with goat cheese.
5. Montrachet – This white goat cheese hails from Burgundy, France. It’s moist and creamy with a mild and tangy flavour and best enjoyed while it’s still fairly young. It can be coupled with both Red and white wines, you can freely choose California Cabernet Sauvignon to go with Montrachet cheese.
6. Monterey Jack (aged) – Deriving its name from its birth place Monterey, CA this cheese is made from partly skimmed, whole or completely skimmed cow’s milk. Aged Monterey is pale in yellow colour and nutty in taste. It’s generally coupled with Cabernet Sauvignon made from red Cabernet grapes.
7. Muenster – This cheese was made in Alsace, a north east wine making region in France. It’s generally consumed with white wine made with spicy white grapes.
8. Parmigiano Reggiano – This cheese is an Italian version of famous Parmesan cheese, made with skimmed or partially skimmed cow’s milk. It’s a hard dry cheese which has a sharp taste to it. It is generally coupled with high-quality red wines.
Hope these basics of wine and cheese and the reasons behind the awesome coupling helps you, next time you head out to a wine and cheese festival or may be head to France the Land of Wine and Cheese.
Happy Drinking. Cheers!