Wine and cheese go hand in hand and have been party favourites for centuries. This quick guide will introduce you to wine and cheese basics that will help you discover pairings that suit your own personal taste.
A Harmonious Sequence
Plan on having three successive courses, beginning with the mildest cheeses accompanied by light wines. For the final course, offer cheeses with stronger flavours and more full-bodied wines.
Although wines should be chosen mainly for their taste, some are better suited than others with different variety of cheeses.
The following list provides an excellent matching guide:
- Italian specialty cheeses like Bocconcini are best matched with champagne, sparkling or red wines with a good bouquet.
- Semi-firm cheeses like Feta can be sampled with light and dry white or rosé wines.
- Firm cheeses like Caciocavallo are recommended with light and fruity red wines.
- Hard cheeses like Bella Lodi and Parmigianno Reggiano are best served with dry and full-bodied red wines.
Here are some other great combinations:
- The nutty flavour of this cheese goes well with the taste of a Valpolicella
- The rich bitter taste of Feta cheese harmonizes perfectly with the fragrance of Muscat
Mozzarina Mediterraneo / Mozzafina di Latte
- The rich, milky flavour will go well with a Pinot Noir.
Bella Lodi / Parmigiano Reggiano
- Excellent with Chianti or Monte Pulciano San Giovese
- The creaminess of Provolone cheese harmonizes with the fragrance of a Barbera
- Delicious with Zinfandel.
Just remember that whichever type of cheese event you are hosting, the following tips should be followed in order to make it successful.
- Allow cheeses to reach room temperature by removing them from the refrigerator approximately one hour prior to the tasting to bring out their full taste and aromas.
- Eat a bit of bread between each new cheese type to neutralize your palate.
- Identify the cheeses for the benefit of your guests. It’s always interesting to know the names of cheeses tasted.
- Avoid serving fresh fruit such as grapes, citrus fruit, and apples since they don’t go well with certain wines. Opt, instead, for dried figs, mangoes, dates, or just plain almonds and walnuts.