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 Filed as : Wine TipsRecipes & Pairings

Cheese Pairing 101

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  • Publish Date: Sep 10, 2009

Pairings of wine and cheese generally turn out like one of the following: Britney and KFed’s marriage (bad for both parties involved), beige on beige (pretty neutral), Gisele Bündchen and Victoria’s Secret clothes (one makes the other look really good), or marshmallows and Lucky Charms (magically delicious). While the Lucky Charms situation is ideal, in reality, the Gisele is as good as it gets (which is not bad). We should, however, always strive to stay out of KFed and beige territory by following a couple of simple rules.

Birds of a feather taste good together.

It is important to match wines and cheeses that are similar in strength of flavors together, lest one stifles the other. Match tastes too – when a wine and a cheese each possessing one trait (spiciness, sweetness, acidity, etc) come together, they smooth each other out. Try it: the sharp acidity of Sauvignon Blanc mellows when it meets tangy fresh chèvre. A washed-rind cheese should be paired with a full-bodied red.

Back to the basics.

Consider having wine and cheese from the same region – after all, those producers have likely been enjoying the combination for centuries. Try it: Spanish icons Manchego and Rioja are a well-known pair.

Bubbles wash away fat.

This does not mean that taking a bubble bath will help you lose weight. Rather, it means that effervescent sparkling wines cleanse the palate after a bite of gooey cheese, getting you ready for more tasting. Try it: Prosecco and brie are a great apéritif.

Salty and sweet is a treat.

Dessert wines are a perfect counterpoint to strong blue cheeses. Try it: Roquefort and Sauternes are a match made in gastronomic heaven.

Forget all of our rules and create your own!

Pairing wine and cheese is a matter of personal taste – host tastings and decide what you like for yourself. What a delicious journey!

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