Cheese with that?
Cheese and Wine. A match made in heaven?
Some might say they go together like fish and chips or bangers and mash but is it really true? Like most things the true answer is “it depends…” Getting the perfect wine to go with the perfect cheese can certainly be a joy but what exactly are the rules? Well the simple answer is that there are no hard and fast rules and despite what some ‘experts’ say it really boils down to personal choice. That being said, there are some useful tried and trusted guidelines to follow if you really want some help – and impress your friends! So here we go…
The general rule is the harder the cheese the ‘bigger’ the wine required. For the milder hard cheeses consider something red and fruity like a Merlot, Fitou or Chilean red. For medium cheeses try a New Zealand Cabernet Sauvignon or perhaps a Cote du Rhone. The very strong hard cheeses will probably need something more robust like an Australian Shiraz though.
For mild ‘blue’ cheeses try and pick a light fruity wine like a Chenin Blanc, a Vouvray or a Rose. For the more powerful blue cheeses go for a spicy red or a Shiraz though a sweet Monbazillac can be a good match too. Similarly, Roquefort and Sauternes has always been a traditionally popular match.
For the softer white cheeses you probably need a sweeter, richer, creamier taste. A Chilean Sauvignon Blanc or a good Chardonnay can be great accompaniments.
When it comes to the semi-soft cheeses light fruity reds are a good match but the more strongly flavoured cheeses often go well with a Chianti or Rioja.
And if you are partial to a strong pungent, washed rind cheese, then you’ll need a spicy Gewurztraminer or even a nice brown beer!
These are just ideas though. The joy of sampling cheese and wine together is all about experimentation and having fun.