Cheese and Wine Pairing Article -
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Cheese and Wine Pairing

How about some wine to go with that cheese? Here are our recommendations.

The Cheese Plate

Choosing cheeses for a tasting platter is a great opportunity to explore varied textures, ages, or milk types. But like most pleasures in life, you should set limits. Three different varieties are more than enough and more than five gets confusing. After all, taste is what you’re after.

Choose one spectacular cheese:

  • Serve Pierre Robert, a French triple-crème brie, with salty nuts and champagne.
  • Try Stilton, the great English farmhouse blue, with port, an inky Shiraz, or a Muscat.
  • Serve Montgomery's Cheddar with chutney and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Choose by country of origin (we chose Spain as an example):

  • Manchego (aged sheep). Pour a Rioja from Spain or a Washington Merlot.
  • Cabrales (Sheep, goat, and cow; creamy blue). Serve with sherry, dry or sweet.
  • Garrotxa (aged goat). Try with a Riesling or Spanish red from Ribera del Duero.

Choose different milks:

  • Humboldt Fog (Goat). Pair with Sauvignon Blanc (Sancerre, for example) or California Chardonnay.
  • Pecorino Toscano (Sheep). Excellent with a Tuscan red like Chianti Classico or Brunello di Montalcino.
  • Bleu des Causses (Cow). Fine with a tawny port or oloroso sherry.
  • Mozzarella di Bufala (Buffalo). Pour a Chianti.

Choose one milk type, different processes:

  • Provolone (Pasta filata or stretched cheese). Serve with Chardonnay or Italian reds.
  • Gruyere (Hard cheese). Pour Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.
  • Brick (Semi-hard cheese.) Nice with a white wine like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, or Pinot Gris.
  • Brie (Soft-ripened cheese). Surprise guests with sparkling wine or an oloroso sherry.
  • Talleggio (Washed rind, semi-soft cheese). You can't go wrong with an Italian red wine.

Choose by season:

Three early summer cheeses, three different milks:

  • Fresh mozzarella (cow): Great with a Chianti or other Sangiovese-based wine.
  • Fresh chevre (goat). Wonderful with Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Pecorino fresco (sheep). Pour Chianti Classico or Brunello di Montalcino.

    Serving Suggestions

    • To start or end a meal: plan on about 2 total ounces per person.
    • As a main course: plan on 4 ounces per person. You might want to adjust amounts according to how many other accompaniments you plan to serve.

    Take cheese out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving. Present it on a flat surface--a board, slate, or a lovely tile will do--and give each cheese its own knife.

    Fancy tools, like cheese planes, are not necessary. And, if your goal is really to taste the cheese, plain baguettes or very plain crackers are perfect.

      Jun. 11, 2009 10:12 am
      Excellent and easy way to serve cheese...You can purchase 1 granite tile from your local home improvement store to serve your cheese or buy several for different types as well as serving can chill the granite slightly in the fridge to keep cheeses cool on a hot summer day as well.Inexpensive yet elegant.
      Jun. 25, 2009 8:05 am
      A piece of slate from the home improvement or tile store is nice, too - you can write the varieties in chalk, and wash the writing off when the party is over.
      Aug. 26, 2010 2:38 pm
      Wonderful! I have been searching for a simple, elegant idea for a gathering for forever.
      Mar. 15, 2011 12:16 pm
      thank you! totally naive on this subject...
      May 19, 2011 6:37 am
      Amazing idea! Thanks for sharing!
      Jun. 4, 2011 1:12 pm
      oooh now I want to have a wine and cheese get together! Can't wait for tile shopping. lol
      Sep. 29, 2011 7:08 pm
      Terrific way to learn the in's and out's of wine and cheese serving. Hope to see more ways of planning for the Holidays. Thanks
      Dec. 1, 2011 10:13 am
      THANK YOU FOR THIS ARTICLE!!! I am copying and pasting it into a doc just in case it moves or something but this will make me feel like an instant officionado!
      Oct. 10, 2013 6:11 pm
      Thank you for this article as I can give my customers a standard to relate to for their wine and cheese parties. I am keeping this as a Quick Reference for them. I own and manage Mi's Wine And Cheese Shoppe in Hawaii on the Big Island. Thanks this is great as a resource
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