The Perfect Match: Wine and Cheese

November 18, 2019

The first rule for wine pairing is easy — if you and your guests enjoy it, it’s a good match.

Your favourite beverage plus your favourite cheese are all you really need. If, however, you like ALL the cheese and ALL the wine and want to try new combinations, we’re here to offer guidance.

Select wine and cheese from the same region – Sangiovese or Chianti with Asiago, white Bordeaux with a semi-ripe French cheese or Rioja with Manchego.

Here are more suggestions for matching cheese, wine and other nibbles to create exquisite flavour harmonies.

Sparkling Wine

Bubbles cut through salt and fat beautifully. Pair with virtually any cheese, especially creamy and salty ones, and a mix of charcuterie. Create a plate that mixes soft and hard cheese along with meat and olives.

The Plate: Triple crème Brie, marinated feta, Parmesan, salami, prosciutto, olive mix, Peruvian pearls (tiny bright red peppers)

The Glass: Sparkling wine's bubbles look prettiest in a flute. A coupe offers old-fashioned flare and keeps the bubbles from making you sneeze.

Lighter, Off-Dry White

(Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé)

Sauvignon Blanc is a natural with goat cheese. Soft creamy cheese works well when paired with sweet compotes and fresh or dried fruit. Floral Gewürztraminers are a great match for blue cheese.

The Plate: Goat cheese, CO-OP® GOLD Cranberry Port and Pecan Compote, Cambozola, Brie topped with CO-OP® GOLD Caramel Spice Brie Brûlé, dried apricots, fresh grapes

The Glass: A white wine glass has a narrow bowl because white wine doesn’t need to breathe as much as red wine, and the aromas are more delicate.

Deli white wine

Bold Whites

(Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc)

Cold Chardonnay and creamy, room-temperature Camembert are a legendary combination. Tropical fruit and nuts are a nice match to the vanilla notes in many Chardonnays. Bold whites also go well with vegetables.

The Plate: Apricot, Stilton hazelnuts, roasted red pepper, dried mango, coconut chips, macadamia nuts, vegetable pâté or spread

The Glass: Chardonnay’s bolder aromas call for a wider bowl so you can swirl and inhale tropical fruit and vanilla aromas.

Bold Reds

(Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah)

Aged cheddar and Gouda are ideal with Cabernets. Add some figs or fig compote and walnuts or pecans for a marvelous mix. Peppery notes in Syrah and Tempranillo hold up to chili-infused cheeses. Oak in Cabernet and Malbec marries well with herb-infused and smoked cheeses.

The Plate: Old cheddar, herb and garlic cream cheese, Snowdonia cheese: Red Devil, Beechwood and/or Green Thunder flavours, aged Gouda with fig compote, dried figs, walnuts, pecans, dark chocolates

The Glass: Red wine relaxes best in a wider bowl, and the rich aromas concentrate at the narrow mouth.

 Deli dessert wine

Dessert Wine

(Sherry, Port, Late Harvest wines)

A sherry and toasted almonds are one of the simplest and most memorable dessert combos ever, although blue cheese and port are a close second. Choose sharp, rich flavours and include your favourite chocolate.

The Plate: Roasted almonds, chocolate, blue cheese, dried cranberries, cheesecake, cranberry Stilton

The Glass: Fortified wines have higher alcohol content and are usually served in two-ounce glasses.

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