Wines have the potential to bring out the best aromas and flavors in many different recipes. Since cheese is a popular ingredient used in a wide variety of dishes, it complements the tastes of various wines. If you’re planning to throw a cocktail party for your friends, you might want to pair them up. Pairing wine and cheese for a party can be a tricky and challenging task, however. You need to consider the strength of wine and different flavors of cheese so that they do not overpower the other.
Does that spark an idea? Here are a few simple tips you can follow.
Things to Consider
1) First of all, you need to determine the type of wine you wish to serve. The kind of cheese you choose for the menu depends upon the type of wine you select.
2) You can either look for the best cocktail recipes that feature several varieties of cheeses or plan the entire menu around specific cheese dishes. Look for local treats that complement an Alsatian Riesling or an Oregon Pinot Noir since they’re the popular members of buffets and dinners.
3) You can use recipes that feature the best varieties of cheese and explore the breweries to find wines that complement their tastes. Include dishes that feature common cheese varieties (like cheddar) that can be paired with a wide range of beverages.
4) Match local cuisines with wines belonging to a particular country or region. For instance, you can serve Bacon & Leek Quiche, Chicken Fricassee with Tarragon and Parsleyed potato wedges with quality French wines like 2006 Bourgogne Chardonnay, 2005 Chateau Mont Redon or Laurent Perrier NV Brut Ultra Champagne.
5) Last but not the least, you can mix and match local cuisines and wines from different regions and countries. For example, Mediterranean cuisine goes well with traditional Californian wines.
Best Wine and Cheese Combinations
# Strong cheese varieties fit with strong wines like Cabernet and Bordeaux. Likewise, you should pair light cheeses with delicate wines like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc.
# Match aged cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda, Le Moulis or Provolone with old wines like Cabernet.
# Dry white wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot and Chardonnay) go with fresh Gouda, Brie, Mozzarella, Baby Swiss and other mild cheeses.
# Sweet, fruity wines like Sauternes and Riesling complement the taste of Provolone, Fontina, Stilton or Roquefort.
# You can pair up creamy Gorgonzola, smoke Gouda, Gruyere, Havarti, smoke Cheddar cheese and smoked Swiss varieties with spicy drinks like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Shiraz or Syrah.
# Pair up aged Swiss, Cheddar, Pont I’Eveque, Asiago or Taleggion for Merlot or you can choose triple crème cheeses for bubbly and sparkling wines and Champagne. Opt for Cambozola, Boursin or Explorateur.
Feeling creative? Let those creative juices flow! Arrange a potluck party for your guests and ask them to bring their best wine and cheese combinations. Add your personal favorites to the platter and savor the tastes of different members.
Moreover, you can create a special wine and cheese takeaway gift baskets for the guests. Include Swiss, Gorgonzola or Cheddar cheeses, plenty of crackers, caviar and a bottle of canned oysters, pickles or olives. Add fruit slices and potato wedges to the basket. Finish it up with your favorite red or white wines. This is how you design personalized complementary gifts for different occasions!
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Anthony Robert, the writer, is a chef and an avid blogger on food and wine. He has featured wines such as chardonnay and pinot gris. He also make wine notes on Taylors Estate Merlot and explores interesting things about its taste.