Summer Wine and Cheese Pairings


Wine and Cheese are a classic combination – both are products of fermentation. Both may be consumed fresh and young, or in their more abstruse forms when they have aged and matured.  Here are basic pairing guidelines that have been proven favorable:

1.Pair wine and cheese of the same region together, i.e., Chianti with Parmesan;
2.Pair salty cheese with sweet wines – a good pairing is Stilton with Port;
3.Pair creamy, soft-ripening cheeses with full-bodied, tannic red wines such as Red Bordeaux with Brie;
4Pair acid with acid – this may not be obvious, but acids in food usually cancel out acids in wine. A famous pairing is Sauvignon Blanc with goat cheese;
5My Favorite: Pairing rich cheese with Champagne  or sparkling wines, such as French port de salut or chevre;
6When offering several cheese choices, whites fair better than reds. Particularly soft and creamy cheeses leave a layer of fat on the palate and this interferes with the flavor in reds, rendering them monotonical;
7.Most of the sweeter whites complement a full range of cheeses. The spicy zing of Gewürztraminer or the peachy zip of Riesling is ideal if you’re going for wide-reaching appeal;

8.Parmigianino or Romano cheeses pair well with most wines; and
9.If you’re a cheese adventurist and you like to eat the stinkiest of cheeses, indulge in a big red like a Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Liz Palmer
Food and Wine Writer
June 23, 2009

In Memory of  Ken