Guidelines to pairing wine and cheese

Wine and cheese have gone hand in hand for centuries; however, with today’s ever increasing options for both wines and cheese the pairing decisions can be staggering. So, to take a lot of the guess work out of pairing, here is a handy guide to give you a starting point for pairing your favourite wines with soon-to-be favoured cheese. Keep in mind that these are just recommendations, not law – experiment with your own pairings and see if there’s a combination, listed or not, that just knocks your socks off.

A few tips to keep in mind: Pairing wines and cheeses from the same region is a good, “safe” place to start wine and cheese combinations. For example, a good Italian Chianti and a potent Parmesan will provide a fascinating mix. Also, remember that the harder types of cheese (i.e. Cheddar or Parmesan) can handle more tannic wines. While creamy cheeses, such as Brie, typically pair better with wines that have more acidity, like a Chardonnay. Give salty cheeses a sweet wine partner (i.e. Blue Cheese and Port).

Wine and Cheese Pairings:

Wine: Cabernet Franc; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Fontina, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Port Salut, Swiss

Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon; Cheeses to Consider: Camembert, Cheddar, Colby, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Parmesan, Blue cheese, Roquefort

Wine: Chardonnay; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, goat cheese, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan, Provolone

Wine: Champagne; Cheese to Consider: Beaufort, Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Chevre, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Gruyere, Parmesan

Wine: Chenin Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Camembert, goat cheese, Graddost

Wine: Chianti; Cheese to Consider: Look for regional cheeses to complement an Italian Chianti, perhaps Fontina, Mozarella, Parmesan or Provolone

Wine: Dessert Wine; Cheese to Consider: Crème Fraiche, Marscopone, or shake it up with a salty/sweet combo. and consider a crumble or two of blue cheese.

Wine: Gewurztraminer; Cheese to Consider: Boursin, Camembert, Chevre, Muenster, Swiss, Wensleydale

Wine: Merlot ; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Cheddar, Gorgonzola, Gouda, Gruyere, Jarlsberg, Parmesan

Wine: Pinot Noir; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Camembert, Feta, Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Muenster, Port Salut, Swiss

Wine: Port; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Gorgonzola

Wine: Riesling; Cheese to Consider: Brie, Blue, Colby, Edam, Gouda, Monterey Jack

Wine: Sangiovese; Cheese to Consider: Blue, Fontina, Mozzarella, Parmesan, Provolone, Ricotta

Wine: Sauvignon Blanc; Cheese to Consider: Asiago, Brie, Cheddar, Feta, goat cheese, Gruyere, Neufchatel, Parmesan

Wine: Shiraz/Syrah; Cheese to Consider: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan

Source: wine.about.com

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