They say wine can be served with almost anything as long as you pair the right wine with the right food that is. But if there is one combination that is always sure to go down well then it is wine and cheese. This is a partnership that everyone can enjoy and is actually more historic than you might think.
Wine and cheese weren’t paired up by someone trying to increase sales at their local supermarket. Or well maybe it was we can’t really say for sure but what we do know is that this is a culinary tradition that has endured for hundreds of years.
When you take a look at this from a historical perspective cheese and wine being served together makes a lot of sense. Many local wines and cheeses were produced by the same people or at least by people who worked very closely together.
A vineyard would often produce more than just wine it would make other foods as well with cheese being one of the most popular. Food merchants would often sell both wine and cheese as well, using cheese and fruits to complement their wines and therefore increase sales.
So, there is a strong history between these two foods but their popularity as a partnership isn’t just down to tradition. Many studies have highlighted the effectiveness of wine and cheese as a pairing because they represent opposite areas of the taste spectrum.
They also highlighted that wine and cheese work very well as a palate cleanser which makes them the perfect way to both start and end a meal. So, the bottom line is wine and cheese are a culinary partnership that few other foods can really rival, it’s a partnership that as endured throughout history after all.
But because wines and cheeses come in so many different forms partnering the right wine with the right cheese can be a little tricky. Thankfully that is something I can help you with! Below I’ve compiled my cheese and wine help guide to help you ensure your wine and cheese always work well together.
A Wine and Cheese Guide
Cheese can be broken down into six main categories although there are some cheeses that crossover into more than one. I’ll take you through each of the six categories, talk about some of the most popular cheeses in each one and then tell you which wines work best with them. So, without further ado let’s begin.
These cheeses are often pale in colour, rindless and very soft with a milder flavour. Some fresh cheese do have a noticeable tanginess to them though so don’t think that mild equals no flavour. Common fresh cheeses include mozzarella, ricotta, and chevre goat’s cheese. These cheeses are best served with crisp and dry white wines and young fruity reds.
Bloomy cheeses will have noticeable blooms of white mould (hence the name) they are soft and creamy with a rich taste that has made them very popular. The interior of these cheeses is often a different colour and stronger in flavour than the exterior. Common bloomy cheeses include brie and camembert, these cheeses are best paired with dry sparkling whites and dry light-bodied reds.
Washed Rind Cheeses
These cheeses are bathed in brine, beer or wine and have noticeable orange rinds to them. With a strong aroma and rich, creamy flavour these cheeses are ideal for people looking for a stronger tastes. Common washed-rind cheeses include fontina, taleggio, and reblochon. These again pair well with dry traditional sparkling whites and fruity reds.
The middle-ground between soft and hard cheeses these cheeses have a mild flavour and are fairly creamy they are best served melted or finely sliced. Some popular semi-soft cheeses include Gouda, Havarti and of course Edam. They are best served with classic dry whites and rustic strong reds.
Hard cheeses are old and with age comes a more complex blend of flavours and smells. These cheeses generally have a nutty like flavour to them and while they might be more likely to crumble when cut they certainly have a distinct flavour. Common hard cheeses include cheddar, parmesan, and double Gloucester. They pair particularly well with vintage sparkling white wines and strong, bold reds.
Named after the blue veins of mould running throughout them these cheeses come in many different forms they can be soft, semi-soft or even hard. But they will all have a strong sharp flavour you won’t find elsewhere. Common blue cheeses include Danish blues, gorgonzola, stilton, and Roquefort. Sweeter white and red wines are a good compliment to these more pungent stronger flavoured cheeses.