Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Wine & Cheese Pairings

Here are some great pairings for wine and cheese from the Cheese Course that make it much easier to understand.  Stop on in for a sample of some of our great artisanal cheeses and don't forget about the cheese happy hour from 4-7pm every Wednesday (25% off the three tasted cheeses) and our Wine & Cheese Pairing Class on Thursday, June 4th at 6pm. Enjoy!

We like to pair our tangy fresh cheeses such as Chevre, Burrata, Feta, Coupole, and Humboldt Fog with wines that are crisp, fruity, grassy and light in color. In some instances, you can even taste the fresh herbs. They go great with wines such as Chenin Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Rieslings, Sauvignon Blanc and White Bordeaux.

We find that our Delice de Bourgogne and Brie de Nangis from France both pair nicely with rich white wines or fruity red wines. Specifically we like Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Grenache, Pinot Noir and Beaujolais.

Fruity red wines typically have lower levels of tannin, making them a good pairing with bloomy rind cheeses.  Rich white wines are also nice companions to these cheeses because they are full bodied and rich.

We suggest pairing washed rind cheeses like Taleggio from Italy and Morbier from France with rich aromatic whites, dark beers and extremely robust reds.  We make this suggestion because many of these cheeses are washed in wine that comes from regions that produce Gew├╝rztraminer, Rieslings, and Champagne. These cheeses can also be washed in brine causing them to be salty and therefore pair well with sweet dessert wines.

Recommended Wines: Gewurztraminer, Riesling or Champagne

Blue cheeses such as Roquefort from France and Valdeon from Spain, can have a pungent taste that pairs well with dessert wines and robust red wines.  Try pairing a Sauternes, late harvest Riesling, port or Vin Santo.  Their inherent sweetness balances the “saltiness” that is present in blue cheeses.

Recommended Wines: Dessert Rieslings, Sauternes, Port or Vin Santo

When we think of Cheddars and Asiago Cheeses that dominate this category, we recommend that you pair them with full bodied and aromatic whites or medium bodied reds. Try Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sangiovese, or Syrah.  These heavier whites and medium reds have more tannin than the lighter reds, which allow them to stand up to the more mature cheeses in this category.

Recommended Wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Sangiovese or Syrah

If you like hard cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy and Aged Gouda from Holland, try them with medium to full bodied reds.  We like Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec.  These wines match the intensity of cheeses that have been allowed to mature and develop in flavor.

Recommended Wines: Zinfandel. Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec

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